With opening ceremonies just five weeks away, the entire world is buzzing with Olympic anticipation. Help your K-5 students feel the excitement and check out this list of Olympic-related books. With many written by or about some of history’s most loved Olympic athletes, each book is sure to inspire, inform, or at least incite interest in this age-old tradition.
- How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals. Cowritten by Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and sportswriter Alan Abrahamson, this fun picture book describes how Phelps earned his record-breaking 8 gold medals.
- Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman. This inspiring picture book describes how a five-year-old girl with a paralyzed leg would go on to become the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad.
- Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold. Written by Michael Jordan’s mother, this heart-warming picture book gives kids a glimpse into Jordan’s childhood dreams and struggles.
- Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman: Olympic High-Jump Champion. This uplifting picture book tells the story of Alice Coachman and her rise to Olympic fame despite racial tensions of her time.
- Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #10: Ancient Greece and the Olympics. This nonfiction companion to Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics lays down the facts and teaches kids about the original games.
- Olympics! This picture book describes all that goes into holding the Olympics, from the athletic training to the creation of the Olympic village, in a way that excites kids of all ages.
- The Story of the Olympics. This picture book is perfect for older elementary school students who are interested in the fun, and often funny, facts surrounding the original games.
- Olympic Poems: 100% Unofficial. This funny book of poetry is packed with clever poems related to just about every summer sport, the thrill of victory, and, of course, the agony of defeat.
- Shawn Johnson Olympic Champion: The Story Behind the Smile. This photographic journal tells the story of Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Shawn Johnson in her own words.