Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

*Reading Olympics 2013-2014 title in Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties, PA

*Virginia Young Readers Award 2002-2003 Nominee.

*Pennsylvania Young Readers 2002-2003 Nominee

*The Young Hoosier Award (Indiana) 2002-2003 Nominee

* The Land of Enchantment Award (New Mexico) 2002-2003 Nominee.

*Volunteer State Award (Tennessee) 2003-2004 Nominee.

*Virginia Center for Children's Books' Best Books of the Classroom
2000 list.


Kyle, a good kid, makes a bad decision to cheat in a big game. He fakes a catch to clinch the win against a long-time archrival. His teammates go wild with victory. But suddenly Kyle doesn't feel so good. His conscience is bugging him. And he feels like he's keeping a secret from his teammates, especially Claire. Kyle and Claire are good friends and her praise makes him very uncomfortable. But Kyle doesn't want to come clean and embarrass himself or let down his teammates and his family.

Meanwhile a subplot has been building. Another kid actually saw the fake catch and is threatening to report Kyle to the Youth Baseball Commission. He says that he will keep Kyle's secret on one condition: that Kyle's team doesn't win the championship! Kyle feels trapped. He desperately wants his team to win the trophy, but if he plays hard and they win, the other kid will blab and Kyle's secret will be out—everyone will know he cheated. He wishes he could put his life on rewind—he wouldn't fake that catch again. But there's no rewind button in life, so what can he do now?

Sharing Winners Take All

With Your Class or the Whole Grade

For girls and boys in 3rd through 6th grade, (and their parents, teachers, and coaches too).

Why is this a good book to share?

Winners Take All is a suspenseful, fun-to-read baseball story about a good kid who makes a bad decision to cheat in a big game. The story raises some tricky kid-sized moral dilemmas that always trigger a lively debate. When kids consider the story and each other's views, they sort out their own thoughts and values. You can ask parents to read the book too. When you invite them to an evening book discussion, you provide families a unique and enjoyable opportunity to slow down and talk together in important ways.




Ms. Shayne Russell, Library Media Specialist, Kenneth R. Olson Middle School, Tabernacle, NJ:

"I learned about the Winners Take All Community Read at an AASL workshop and knew immediately we HAD to do it! This was our first-ever Skype experience, and the Step-by-Step Guide to the Winners Take All Community Read made the planning effortless. Kids and their parents loved the book, and the discussion was lively and meaningful. It was so much like having Fred in the room with us that at the end of the program, our students wanted their picture taken with him! We will definitely do this again!"

Joanne Rowe, Digital Age Curriculum and Instructional Coach, Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, Michigan (excerpt from email to Fred Bowen):

"The whole experience of reading Winners Take All and Skyping with you has been deeply meaningful for our students! The conversation yesterday, blew us away; you tapped on many moral and ethical issues and sparked critical thinking in our students (as well as the adults in the room). I will share this Skype with the National Organziation for Character Education when they visit our school in May. Thanks for making a huge difference to our students. It meant so much to us all!"