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DC Public Library is teaming up with the Washington Mystics to share some books that will help you get excited for another fun year of learning! Read about other students who are heading back to school, build your basketball skills to try out for the team, dive into the history of the sport and do fun projects that explore the science and math of basketball! 

DC Public Library has what you need to have a great school year, check out the library's Back to School page to find upcoming events, homework help resources, fun reads and so much more!

Learn More About Going Back to School with DC Public Library

Heading Back to School

Elle of the Ball

Elle of the Ball, Elena Delle Donne

Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall--not just sort of tall. She's six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class's dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her - and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne's Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.

The Final Cut

The Final Cut, Fred Bowen

Ryan, Zeke, Eli, and Miles have always shared a love of sports, especially basketball. When it's time for basketball team tryouts, these best friends practice together, compete in a local 3-on-3 tournament, and carefully compute their chances of making the team. However, when tryouts arrive, will all their athletic skills pass the test? Can their friendship survive if one of them doesn't make the cut? Fred Bowen keeps readers on the edge of their seats with play-by-play basketball action and real court strategy along with a story about winning and losing as well as the value of practice and competition. In the sports history epilogue, Bowen reminds readers that even famous players like Michael Jordan didn't make their high school basketball teams the first time around.

Trying Out For The Team

Girl's Basketball: Making Your Mark on the Court

Girls Basketball: Making Your Mark on the Court, Lori Coleman

Get ready to slam-dunk your way to basketball success. From rules, to positions, to skills, you'll learn what it takes to compete at the next level. Girls' Basketball will prepare you to be part of this fast-paced game.

Full Court Press: Basketball Skills and Drills

Full Court Press: Basketball Skills and Drills, Rachel Stuckey

This fun book gives an exciting overview of the rules, positions, strategies, and equipment in basketball. Dynamic photographs and step-by-step instructions provide tips on shooting, ball handling, passing, rebounding, and defending, as well as helpful pointers for playing each position on the floor. Nutrition and the importance of fair play and teamwork are also included.

Learning with Basketball

Slam Dunk: Science Experiments Inspired by Basketball

Slam dunk! science projects with basketball, Robert Gardner and Dennis Shortelle

Help your readers to slam dunk their next science project. Physics concepts play a big role in the sport of basketball. Readers will learn about friction, mass, vectors, and more, all while playing their favorite sport. Great science project ideas follow many experiments. 

Its a Numbers Game

It's a Numbers Game: Basketball, James Buckley Jr.; foreword by NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

Why do NBA players only have 24 seconds to score a basket? What's the geometry behind making the perfect shot? Become a basketball pro and learn all about the numbers and math behind this popular sport.

Numbers are everywhere in basketball--from the dimensions of the court to the points you can score to the digits on each player's jersey. In this awesome new book, you'll learn how these numbers make basketball the game we know and love today, and also get a few tips along the way on how to improve your game. As Kobe Bryant wrote in his Foreword for the book, "Sucess is in the detail--and the detail is in the math." Read about amazing statistics and learn how to track the stats of your favorite basketball stars. Discover how to improve your bounce pass and chest pass with geometry and physics. Colorful graphics explain the math behind the sport, and cool photos make you feel like you're right on the court. Filled with sports trivia and fun activities at the end of every chapter, this book is sure to be a slam dunk with kids who can't get enough of the game and want to learn more.

The History of the Game


hoop genius how a desperate teacher and a rowdy gym class invented basketball

Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball, John Coy, illustrated by Joe Morse.

Taking over a rowdy gym class right before winter vacation is not something James Naismith wants to do at all. The last two teachers of this class quit in frustration. The students--a bunch of energetic young men--are bored with all the regular games and activities. Naismith needs something new, exciting, and fast to keep the class happy--or someone's going to get hurt. Saving this class is going to take a genius. Discover the true story of how Naismith invented basketball in 1891 at a school in Springfield, Massachusetts.


Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map

Basketball Belles, How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map, Sue Macy, Illustrated by Matt Collins

Witness the birth of women's basketball in this illustrated introduction from renowned nonfiction author Sue Macy. Raised on a cattle ranch, Agnes Morley was sent to Stanford University to learn to be a lady. But she soon exchanged her breeches and spurs for bloomers and a basketball-and in April 1896, she made history. In a heart-pounding game against the University of California at Berkeley, Agnes led her team to victory in the first-ever inter-collegiate women's basketball game, earning national attention and putting women's basketball on the map. This fast-paced story of perseverance and success digs deep into the history of one of America's most popular sports, and how it came to be so big. Realistic illustrations by Matt Collins put readers in the middle of the action, and you'll want cheer along with the crowd.