Books about basketball bouncing all over the library

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 20, 2016

By Melissa J. Oleen

Rowan Public Library

As I write, I am awaiting The Bracket reveal. That’s right, THE Tournament, March Madness, the Big Dance, the NCAA Championship or, as we think of it on the Great Plains, “How you get through the last month of winter.”

When you read this, some fans will be wiping brows with relief that their top picks made it through round 1, some crying tears over a tournament finished way too soon, others cursing the games that trashed their office bracket, and a few secretly smiling at the loss that will free up the TV again for the next few weeks.

No matter your team’s status, Rowan Public Library has books to compliment your family’s basketball interests. Here I am focusing on books for young readers. For the statisticians and dinner table debaters, new titles include: “All Ball, Basketball’s Greatest Players.” This book highlights the sports greatest players by position and includes female players.

“Ruling the Court: Basketball’s Biggest Wins” covers the big tournaments: NBA, WNBA, Basketball World Cup and Paralympics. “Who’s Who of Basketball: A Guide to the Games Greatest Players” uses statistics, facts and Sports Illustrated photos to discover the best of the best.

“Basketball’s Greatest Players” is an eBook available via the NC Digital Library. This title covers six of the biggest names in professional basketball with great overviews of their careers and interesting personal information. These players sometimes go by the following nicknames — Secretary of Defense, The Big Dipper, Cap, Hick From French Lick, His Airness and King James. How many can you identify?

Trying to tie your youngster’s love of basketball to schoolwork? Try “Math on the Court.” This title explains how math applies to the game of basketball “from the length of the court to the calculation of players’ stats.” “The Science of Basketball: Top Ten Ways Science Affects the Game” includes chapters on hardwood and concrete, mass and momentum, loud arenas and basketball shoes.

“Hoop Genius: How a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball” by John Coy is a wonderful non-fiction picture book that reveals the true story of why and how James Naismith invented it. Parents will enjoy the end covers on which the original first draft of Naismith’s basketball rules are displayed. The rules were in the gym “that the boys might learn the rules.”

“H.O.R.S.E a Game of Basketball and Imagination,” by Christopher Myers, is a modern basketball picture book about two kids who play perhaps the most challenging game of H.O.R.S.E. ever. Children will enjoy the characters trying to outdo each others’ basketball shots. Both of these titles are available via the NC Digital Library as eBooks.

“The Crossover,” 2015 Newberry Medal Winner by Kwame Alexander, is an exceptional middle grade novel told in verse through the voice of the contemporary main character, dreadlocked 12-year-old Josh Bell. Josh and his twin brother JB are tight-knit basketball stars at their junior high school and like many in Rowan County “I want to go to Duke, he flaunts Carolina Blue. If we didn’t love each other, we’d HATE each other.” “The Crossover” takes us through a basketball season during which the boys grow apart for the first time. Yes – there is a girl. The NC Digital eAudio edition of “The Crossover” takes full advantage of the verse.

Now, get back to the tournament and good luck with your brackets.

Rowan Reading Rendezvous: Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. St. John’s Lutheran Church (North Jackson Street entrance). A chance to meet local, regional and national authors. Books for sale with all proceeds benefitting Friends of Rowan Public Library. Authors will speak, meet fans and sign books.

Dollar-a-Day Boys — a musical tribute to the CCC: Thursday, March 17, 2 p.m., headquarters. Bill Jamerson presents a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments, including authentic CCC cookies, will be provided. For more information about Jamerson and his program, visit

Darrell Connor and the Country Music Legends Band in Concert: Tuesday, March 29, 7-9 p.m. Headquarters. The band describes their performance as “playing the best of country, bluegrass, Gospel with a little rock & roll and beach.” Admission is free thanks to sponsorship by Friends of Rowan Public Library and Cheerwine. Program starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30.

Family movie night: “Chicken Little” (G). Tuesday, March 29, 5:30-7 p.m., East branch, Rockwell.  Chicken Little is a little guy who has a difficult time convincing the townspeople of Oakley Oaks that the sky really is falling due to an earlier claim that turned out to be a false alarm. Refreshments. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Spring Photowalk: April 16, 10:30 a.m.-noon, headquarters. Join us on another adventure capturing the hidden treasures of downtown Salisbury on camera. Register online or by calling Paul at 704-216-8242 to ensure your spot.

iPad basics: Tuesday, March 22, 7-8 p.m., headquarters. Become a confident iPad user in this free class. Requirements: Pre-registration; bring your own iPad; iPad needs to be charged and have an updated iOS (operating system); bring a current, valid Apple ID.  Free sign-up at: Space is limited, so call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve your spot. Class on second floor of library.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, March 29, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “Yes Pleaseby Amy Poehler. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Learn.Act.Grow.: DIY Vinaigrette. Monday, March 28, 5:30-7 p.m., South Regional. Free. In celebration of National Nutrition Month, Chef Chris Herron and his crew will to teach you how to make your own vinaigrette dressings to spruce up a variety of greens. Samples will be provided. Register online or by calling 704-216-7734 to ensure your spot.

Displays: Headquarters, Carolina Artists and Rowan Doll Society; South, artist Joseph Johnson; East, Community Care Clinic.

Gallery at headquarters: ‘Listening to My Ancestors,” an exhibition of watercolors by Robert Crum, through March 31. Funded, in part, by an Arts and Cultural Development Grant from the Rowan Arts Council.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

Teen Annual Poetry Slam: Tuesday, April 5, 5:30-7 p.m., headquarters. Each teen may perform three original poems in three rounds, and each round will be judged by a panel of judges and the audience. All middle and high school students are eligible. Visit for contest rules.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board provide input on the library’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues in Rowan County. TAB meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. April 12, East, Rockwell; March 24 and April 7, South Rowan Regional, China Grove; April 19, headquarters.

Anime Club (for teens): April 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m., headquarters. Celebrate and learn all things Anime. Programs are the second Tuesday of the month.

MuVchat Movie: Free movie and snack in pop-up video styleOpen to middle- and high-school teens. Tuesday, March 22, 5:30-7 p.m., all branches.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly book club for teens ages 14-17 primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets at Yosties, 202 N. Main St, Faith, Tuesdays, 4 p.m., through May 24.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children ages 7 to 9 can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Reading Therapy dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations are recommended but not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. East, Mondays, 3:30 p.m., March 28, April 11 and 25. South, Saturday, 10 a.m., April 16.

Explorer Club: Headquarters, April 2, 11 a.m. Investigate different genres through activities based on books. Programs for children in third-fifth grades; lasts one hour. This program’s theme is: Sky’s the Limit.

Lego free play: Legos help children’s reasoning and problem-solving skills. The library’s Lego collection will be available for free play, or you can bring your own, Saturdays at 10 a.m. April 9 at East; April 16 at South and at headquarters.

Adventure Club: Headquarters, April 9, 11 a.m.-noon. Adventurous hands-on science activities and projects.

Book Chats: Thursday, March 31, 4:15-5 p.m., for children in fourth and fifth grades. A book discussion group. “The Magician’s Elephant,” by Kate DiCamillo. A limited number of books will be available at all library locations, so registration is strongly recommended.

Weekly events for children through April 30:

Baby Time — 6-23 month-olds with parent or caregiver. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays,  10 a.m.

Toddler Time — 18-35 months old with parent or caregiver. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers — 6-23 months with parent or caregiver. Same program offered twice a week. South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool time — 3-5 years old with parent or caregiver. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head storytime — For children of all ages. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — Art activities appropriate for preK through fifth grade. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.