cover image The Random House Book of Sports Stories

The Random House Book of Sports Stories

. Random House Books for Young Readers, $19.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-394-82874-9

A collection of 16 sports-related stories by such masters as Ring Lardner, John Updike and Jack London--along with works from relative newcomers like Bruce Brooks--could be a young sports fan's dream come true. This compendium, however, falls short of the mark. Though the writing is often superb, many of the selections are inappropriate. James Thurber, for example, is represented by a story in which a dwarf is used as a baseball; chapters from Jay McInerney's Ransom and Brooks's excellent The Moves Make the Man do not fare particularly well out of context; and Updike's ``Man and Daughter in the Cold,'' written for adults, may require more life experience than this book's intended readers have. Only two stories feature female athletes; several assume familiarity with betting lingo. Still, not much is available in this genre, and sports books are in great demand. Also, the collection may provide a jumping-off point for readers to begin to become acquainted with the fine writers included. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)