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Friday, May 17, 2013

WeirdZone: Sports, written by Maria Birmingham. Owlkids, 2013. $13.95 ages 8 and up

"You can now win a bike race without ever leaving home. Sound impossible? Ride into the world of stationary bike racing. A new bicycle called the Ergo Bike allows riders to race each other virtually. They just pick a time and a virtual course to complete in a head-to-head race with another biker."

Here's a book that will never be on the library book shelf. Strange? Funny? Danger? And sports, too. Who wouldn't be intrigued by all that?

The sports here mentioned may not really be considered SPORTS; I am certain of that! It does nothing to dissuade interest in what is include in its pages. Have you ever tried rolling down a hill inside a plastic ball? Maybe not, but you may have seen someone do it. Or lawn-mower racing? I saw that when I was at the Lake Festival in Celina, Ohio a few years ago. What about pillow fighting? With my brother? Yes! I have no trophy for that.

These are just some of the weird and wonderful sports discussed here. They will grab the attention of its target audience and hold on until the last page is read. Just look closely at the participants' faces to know the joy or the terror they are feeling.

The format sets each sport on a two-page spread and then moves on to the next entry. It's not meant to give readers the whole picture, just a taste for the many crazy things that people are willing to try in the name of sports. The text is clearly written, and full of fun. The author must have loved doing the research that resulted in all of the sports included. If you love sports, you are going to love this book!

Here's a challenge:

"Dirk Auer, in-line skated down a roller coaster, topping out at speeds of 56 mph. Auer wore specially designed skates that fit onto the coaster's rails. Whoosh!" 

Are you up to a challenge?

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