High scorers

Higher, faster, stronger. That's the motto of the Olympic Games. The Winter Olympics run in Vancouver, British Columbia, through Feb. 28. If you've got that Olympic spirit, celebrate by picking up a good book -- the Fort Worth Library has works for all ages on the Winter Games and other cold-weather sports.

Here are some to check out.

Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics

By Sue Macy

National Geographic, 2006

If there's anything you would like to know about the Winter Olympics, you can probably learn it -- and enjoy a brilliant color photo about it -- by reading this gorgeous volume from National Geographic. Sue Macy traces the history of the Games from their tentative beginning in 1924 through the controversial 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. There's a chapter devoted to the greatest athletes through history, from Sonja Henie to Eric Heiden. Another chapter covers some of the most serious problems that have come up during the Games, including the ice-skating judging scandal in 2002. Throughout, full-color photos capture the excitement, the drama and the athletes in triumph and disappointment. This is a must-read for the true Winter Olympics fan.

How Figure Skating Works

By Keltie Thomas

Maple Tree Press, 2009

Did you ever wonder how a triple axel jump is different from a triple flip jump? Or how figure skaters manage to spin so fast? Or how the judges score a figure-skating performance? Find out all about the science of the sport with this book, which gives you easy, step-by-step explanations and clear illustrations for each concept. Sprinkled in among the science lessons are features that celebrate such great skaters and performances as the "Battle of the Brians" and the surprise gold-medal performance of Sarah Hughes. This book is as much fun to read as figure skating is to watch, and it will help you understand and enjoy the sport even more when you see it on TV.


By Laurence Yep

American Girl Publishing, 2008

If you'd like to read a fiction book about figure skating, try this one. Mia, one of the modern members of the American Girl Series, has grown up in a family full of hockey players, but she longs to make her own mark as a figure skater. When Mia's coach offers her a chance to perform a solo routine at the Winter Show, she is both thrilled and scared. What if she falls? Is she going to be good enough? Then some practice sessions do not go well, and she wonders: Did she make the right decision by leaving hockey behind? Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor-winning author, follows the progress of a young skater working to become the best she can be. If you enjoy this story, check out Bravo, Mia!, also by Yep, and learn what happens when Mia goes to her first regional competition.

Shaun White

By Matt Doeden

Lerner Publications, 2007

Shaun White is one of the best in the world at one of the newest and most exciting Winter Olympic sports: snowboarding. This easy-to-read biography for elementary-age kids tells how Shaun overcame a dangerous heart condition as a baby to become a professional snowboarder by age 13 and an Olympic snowboarding champion by age 19. Along the way, he won many competitions in snowboarding and skateboarding, and he's considered a primary contender to win more Olympic medals this year. Exciting photographs show Shaun as he sails through the air on his snowboard, doing the tricks that made him famous. This book is a good choice for younger readers who would like to learn more about an athlete currently participating at the Olympics.

The Case of the Snowboarding Superstar

By James Preller

Scholastic, 2006

Snowboarding champion Lance Mashman has lost his good-luck charm! He can't compete without it! This looks like a job for Jigsaw Jones, junior detective. Jigsaw Jones questions everybody surrounding the athlete in an effort to discover who took the charm and why the thief wants to take away Lance's confidence. The answer turns out to be a little surprising. This is an enjoyable, easy read for younger elementary-age kids. If you enjoy this, try some other titles in the series.

Franklin Plays Hockey

By Paulette Bourgeois

Kids Can Press, 2002

Franklin the turtle can count by twos and tie his shoes, and in this installment of the popular picture-book series, he also plays hockey. Franklin is on the same team as Skunk, but when she proves to be a very bad player, Franklin is not sure he wants her on his team anymore. Then, his friend Bear reminds him that Franklin had to practice a lot before he became a good player, and Franklin learns a valuable lesson about teamwork. This gentle picture book will be a hit with preschool hockey fans, kids who love animals and children who enjoy the Franklin cartoon TV series.