There are so many good features about this series. The highly visual layout of the Team Spirit books will be popular for upper elementary and middle school baseball fans. The books are divided into multiple short sections that are the same in each book. This could contribute to an effection lesson on text structure with different students exploring books from this series and looking at the features for comparison. The large photographs have good resolution, and layout is uncluttered and easy to follow. Special features like the timeline, fun facts, and Great Debates are well done. The "Talking Baseball" quotes could appeal to teachers looking for ways to help students interpret quotations. Map features provide an opportunity to expose students to U.S. and world geography. The glossary has icons that differentiate between sports vocabulary and other vocabulary. The lack of subheadings within most of the sections does create some large "chunks" of text that may be intimidating to some struggling readers, but if they are interested in the content, the text is written well and they may stick to it. This is a good update to the previous series, and the Extra Innings section on the Norwood Press website provies updates through the current season as well as some additional player information not included in the books.
Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, 2013
Die-hard Cubs fans remember all the moments in their team’s history when they had the opportunity to go to the World Series of baseball or win a pennant. As if family, Cubs fans feel the emotion of the players personally when the Chicago Cubs win or lose. It is hard to explain to the average sports fan how people feel about the Cubs and why they hold such a special place in our baseball history. Author Mark Stewart, the master of the nonfiction book, allows younger readers into the storied history and notoriety of this famed ball club. He ties together the Cubs’ amazing history and facts with well-written flair. Photographs and illustrations enhance the information within the pages of this book. A part of the “Team Spirit” series, Mr. Stewart’s book illustrates the series’ purpose of illustrating, “...that deep passion shared by the players and fans when they wear the same colors, watch the same scoreboard and cheer the same triumphs.” Included are numerous sections of facts and player quotes, as well as sections for further exploration. What an amazing book for that young sports fan.
Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
Young sports fans will welcome this series’ offerings covering major basketball, football, and baseball teams. Each book begins with an introduction to the team, some history, and information on the team today. The venue in which the team plays is described with many statistics. The team’s uniforms, and the changes these have had over the years, as well as an introduction to the parts of the uniform specific to each sport, are covered. The books give vital statistics on pioneers and super stars of each team. Unfamiliar words related to the sport are typed in bold and explained in either the glossary, or in a separate section of “other words to know.” A section of “Fun Facts” offers supplemental information, such as Joe DiMaggio marrying Marilyn Monroe or David Robinson growing nine inches during his time at the Naval Academy. Records are listed, and a list of places to visit, as well as books, Web sites, and a map showing the birthplaces of the players, make these books useful for the browsing fan or the student doing a report on a favorite team. The tone is consistently positive, and controversy related to the team is kept out of the discussions. This series is valuable for the youngest sports fans. Timeline. Index. Recommended.
LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION, November/December 2006
The "Team Spirit series by Mark Stewart is an exciting and thoroughly "kid friendly' collection of historical, biographical, and pictorial introductions to several of the greatest baseball, football, and basketball teams in American history. Featuring the remarkable athletic accomplishments, achievements, records and historical landmarks of professional sports, the "Team Spirit" series includes baseball's The Atlanta Braves, The Chicago Cubs, The Chicago White Sox, and The New York Yankees; football's The Dallas Cowboys, The Indianapolis Colts, The New England Patriots, and The Philadelphia Eagles; basketball's The Detroit Pistons, The Miami Heat, The Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs. Providing young sports enthusiasts in grades 3 to 6 with the history of the team, the present day team lineup, the home stadium, history of the uniform, key players, team legends, a team timeline, fun facts, team influences and coaches, quotes, major records and awards, TOC, glossary, index, and places to for each team, the twelve volume "Team Spirit" series is very strongly recommended for school and community library collections.
Midwest Book Review, 2006