By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd 

Thanksgiving and football seem to go together like turkey and dressing. In many families, Thanksgiving Day meals are scheduled around the “big game” so everyone can be seated and ready to focus undivided attention from the opening kickoff. While many children grow up watching football with their families, it may take years for them to fully understand the game. For others who view football as more of a social event, there may come a day when they have a greater interest in learning more about the game.

Here are suggestions for books with football themes that will help instill a greater love and appreciation of football, and others that offer a deeper understanding of the game — all so you can enjoy the game and traditions surrounding them with your family and friends even more.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving that is full of gratitude and great football!

Football with Dad (a Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios, illustrated by Brian Biggs
This book is a great introduction to the game of football for children. In this story, a young son and his dad head out to the yard to mimic plays after watching football on television together. (Ages 2-5)

Family Huddle by Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Archie Manning
Crafted by the iconic football family, the Mannings, this book is based on the many memories of football and family shared by the authors. (Ages 4-8)

Don’t Throw It To Mo!  By David A. Adler, illustrated by Sam Ricks.
Although Mo is the smallest member on the team, his teammates support him and his coach helps him succeed in this inspiring tale. (Ages 6-7)

You Can Do It by Tony Dungy
Written by the former, well-loved coach, Tony Dungy, this book highlights a young boy who is following his dream of doing something that really interests him and learning that with big dreams and faith, he can do anything.

The Zach and Zoe Mysteries: The Football Fiasco by Mike Lupica
Mike Lupica’s well-known sports-themed books for children are always a favorite, and this title does not disappoint. Twins, Zach and Zoe, love sports and are challenged with discovering what happened to the recess football. Football plus a little mystery equals a great story! (Ages 6-9)

What is the Super Bowl by Dina Anastasio, illustrated by David Groff
The crown jewel of the pigskin season is the Super Bowl. This story helps give children an insight into this big event, including the history, stats, stories and photos. (Ages 8-12)

The Walk On by John Feinstein 
Known as a sportswriter and guest on EPSN, Lupica added author behind his name beginning in 1984. He has since written more than a dozen young adult books and several popular series. This story features new kid in town Alex Myers. After joining the football team, something happens that makes him feel like someone is trying to get him kicked off the roster. (Ages 10 and up)

The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Tessa, a girl with grit and a strong competitive spirit, loves flag football, However, she wonders if she can take it to the next level and what the people in her life will think if she does. (Young Adult)

Lone Stars by Mike Lupica 
Concussions are an important and current topic in football. Lupica focuses on the effects of concussions on football players in this thoughtfully written book. (Ages 10 and up)

The Ultimate Football Trivia Book: 600 Questions for the Super Fan by Christopher Price
From draft day to Super Bowl stats to player trivia and everything in between, football fans will love this book that will help them become an expert on all things football. (Ages 10 and up)

Take Your Eye Off the Ball 2.0: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan and David Seigerman
Written by NFL analysts, this book will help fans better understand the game of football and appreciate helpful tips for when and what they should be watching during the game, allowing them to enjoy the game even more. (Ages 10 and up)

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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