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Faster, Higher, Smarter

Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports

Interest Age: 11+
Grade: 6+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: SL.5.1,1c,1d,2,3,4,5

Reading Level: Lexile 950L
Hardcover : 9781554518142, 120 pages, March 2016 , 9.5" x 7"
Paperback : 9781554518135, 120 pages, March 2016 , 9.5" x 7"


What do athletes and rocket scientists have in common?

It takes a lot of talent, skill, and hard work to become a world-class athlete. But it takes even more to make a sport better: it takes smarts! And whether innovators are aware of it or not, it takes an understanding of physics, mechanics, and aerodynamics to come up with better techniques and equipment.

From swimming, soccer, and basketball to skateboarding and wheelchair sports, Faster, Higher, Smarter looks at the hard science behind many inventions and improvements in sports. Readers will find out how the introduction of the aluminum bat changed baseball; how a slapshot works, and what’s involved in bending a ball like Beckham. It also covers the history of such milestones as the introduction of diversity, disabled athletes, and women in sport.

Entertaining, informative, and highly visual, this book is the perfect way to introduce scientific concepts to kids who love sports.


  • Winner, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada Book Award 2017
  • Nominated, Red Maple Award nomination, Ontario Library Association 2016
  • Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award nomination 2017
  • Short-listed, American Association for the Advancement of Science SB&F Prize finalist 2017
  • Joint winner, TD Summer Reading Club Recommended Reads List 2017
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2016
  • Joint winner, Top Ten Best Bet, Ontario Library Association 2016


“Fun, educational and engaging.”

- CM Reviews

“Contains a treasure trove of information for those interested in sports and science. A good purchase for libraries.”

- School Library Journal

“Colorful anecdotes and thumbnail sketches . . . help author Simon Shapiro educate as well as entertain readers.”

- Science Magazine (American Association for the Advancement of Science)