Fantastic Football Books for Kids
This post may contain affiliate links.
If you know a child who is a football fan, give them football-themed books like these picture books, chapter book, and middle grade stories as well as amazing nonfiction titles.
Fantastic Football Books for Kids
Picture Books (ages 0 – 6)
Football Opposites by Mark Andrew Weakland
Full-color photographs of football players and games show early learners opposites like big and small, up and down.
Football Colors by Mark Weakland
Football-loving parents will enjoy reading this book of colors and football to their little learners. “Red. Charge! A running back in red roars toward the end zone.“
My First Book of Football: Mostly Everything Explained About the Game Sports Illustrated Kids
What a fantastic picture book to show the basics of football!! Cartoons and photographs pair together to illuminate the game basics. Kids are going to LOVE it. I love it. I love the design and content. It’s really well done.
Goodnight Football by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
It’s the end of the week and time for a football game with family and friends. Then it’s time to say good-night. Vibrant illustrations throughout.
Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Barry Gott
It’s a thrilling competition between two tough football teams in the ultimate game of the year, Mega Bowl Sunday. Rhymes, brilliant illustrations, and football game fun!
Austin Plays Fair by Tony & Lauren Dungy, illustrated by Guy Wolek
Austin’s teammate tricks the other team so they’ll finally win. But Austin’s coach reminds the team that winning isn’t the goal, it’s playing a fair game. And, the next time they have a game, the team will need to decide how they’ll behave.
Early Readers & Easy Chapter Books (ages 5 – 9)
Football with Dad by Frank Berrios, illustrated by Brian Biggs
Dad and son spend Sundays playing football together. First, warm up, then they practice throwing, catching, tackling, all the while being safe. Their day finishes with watching a game on television. Charming illustrations!
Kick, Pass, and Run by Leonard Kessler
When a football gets kicked out of bounds, the animals wonder what it could be. When a boy picks it up and takes it back to the game, all the animals watch and later play their own game of football.
Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David A. Adler, illustrated by Sam Ricks
Mo’s smaller than the kids on his football team. So his coach thinks up a game-winning strategy to use Mo’s small stature to his team’s advantage.
The Dog That Stole Football Plays by Matt Christopher, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman
Harry is Mike’s telepathic dog who helps Mike know what the other team is planning. Mike wonders if it’s cheating and must decide what he should do ethically — use his dog or not?
A Running Back Can’t Always Rush by Nate LeBoutillier, illustrated by Jorge Horacio Santillan
Danny is fast in football and in life. This isn’t always good because he eats so fast, he feels sick, and he does his homework so fast, he gets things wrong. How can he slow down in life but keep up the speed in football?
Middle Grade (ages 9 – 12)
Quarterback Rush (Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels) by Carl Brown, illustrated by Eduardo Garcia
What’s going on with the Otter’s quarterback, Aaron? His throwing is spot on so why aren’t they winning more games? Steve, one of Aaron’s teammates, is determined to figure it out and help Aaron with whatever it is.
Red Zone by Tiki Barber & Ronde
Barber Will the chickenpox stop the team’s playoff dreams?
Unstoppable by Tim Green
Harrison’s dream, even in horrible foster care homes, is to play for the NFL. With his new kind, football coach foster dad’s attention and coaching, Harrison quickly becomes a star player. But it doesn’t last. An injury leads to a worse diagnosis and Harrison will have to find the strength to be unstoppable in his health fight just like he was on the football field.
Touchdown Kid by Tim Green
Cory’s not from a good neighborhood but he’s a good kid and a terrific football player. When he gets the chance to attend a private school to play football, he hopes that it will help him overcome the challenges of where he comes from.
Football Genius by Tim Green
Believe it or not, Troy accurately predicts football plays before they happen. He wants to use his “gift” to help the Atlanta Falcons where his mom works but first he has to get them to take him, a kid, seriously. That’s why he and his friends decide to get the attention of star linebacker Seth Halloway.
QB1 by Mike Lupica
Jake is a freshman quarterback from a family of football stars, meaning pressure and expectations. As he struggles to live up to expectations, he wants to figure out who he is and what mark he wants to leave on the world. Stress, insecurities, and crushes amid Friday Night Lights.
Young Adult (ages 13+)
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
You don’t have to be a football fan to be mesmerized by this incredible underdog story of grit with the history of football as a backdrop. Why must you read this? First, because you don’t really know the history of football until you’ve read the history of Carlisle Indian School and Jim Thorpe. Did you know that a whole team played on the field all at once? Or that a president had to intervene because there were so many deaths from head injuries with no helmets? Second, Jim Thorpe was clearly one of the greatest athletes in the world of all time, and his life wasn’t what you would ever have expected. Third, you won’t look at the history of the American Indians the same once you learn more about this little-publicized history of the often abusive white-run boarding schools. Even though this history wasn’t the point of the book, it’s in the background and it’s disturbing. And fourth, because Steve Sheinkin is one of the best writers you’ll read. The way he put together this book, which facts and how he told the story, is masterful. A must-read!
The Story of…All-Star Athlete Jim Thorpe by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by S.D. Nelson
My first biography of Jim Thorpe was the recent YA book Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin — it was profound and excellent. This book for younger readers simplifies the major life events of Jim Thorpe how he attended Indian boarding schools, getting an education, playing football, and going to the Olympics. (Interspersed through the narrative are informational insets about topics like Black Hawk and Football.) Strangely, this book doesn’t go into too much of Thorpe’s success at the Olympics but it does include how he was stripped of his medals because he had played semi-pro baseball.
Sports Illustrated Kids Football Then to Wow! This amazing nonfiction book makes ME, a non-sports fan, get interested in football. The layout and design plus the photographs make me want to devour all the football facts and info. I highly recommend this for any football fan – it’s packed full of information about football back in the day (1930s) and now days. Excellent!
1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football Sports Illustrated Kids Bold layouts and fascinating information fill this huge book about everything football including the fastest players, best passer-receiver duos, tricky plays, sack masters, and so much more.
Sports Illustrated Kids The Football Fanbook by Gary Gramling
Everything Kids Football Book by Greg Jacobs
This is a great addition to the series. Kids will learn tons of information about the game including rules, famous players, and more as well as get to do fun activities like word games, secret codes,
The Big Book of Who: Football by Sports Illustrated Kids
A must-own book for football fans! Get the details on players and record breakers in yardage and scoring. Amazing full color photographs plus a cool design.