Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Reviews and Author Interview of Coach Ryan Sloth


By: Coach Sloth

Illustrated by: Adam Schartup

Published: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Mascot Books


After seeing a book on Ohio State, Ryan Sloth contacted the publisher to see if they had any similar books about Iowa State. When they said no, he agreed to write one. Sloth’s IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL A TO Z took him two and a half years to write, mostly because it took a while to get all the logos approved. It was quite the ordeal, but now that he has gone through it once, he is more knowledgeable on the process.

Sloth uses every letter of the alphabet to share part of the Iowa State Football excitement. As a former player and coach he used his own experiences to fill the pages with football knowledge. Whether he is telling readers about the mascot, Cy, for the letter “C” or telling Hawkeye jokes on the “R” for Rivalry page, children and adult fans will really enjoy looking through the pages. Each page offers realistic illustrations and kids can enjoy looking for Cy hiding on every page.  Side boxes on each page including history of Cyclone football, facts on the game, or stats on well-known players will keep adults interested and maybe even reminiscing on their favorite seasons.

This hardcover book would make a great gift for your favorite Cyclone Fan, young or old. 


By: Coach Sloth

Published: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Tate Publishing


Sammy Sloth makes a wish for his birthday that the Iowa State Cyclones win their football game against their archrivals this week. Every week Sammy and his dad attend the Cyclones's game starting with tailgating outside of the stadium to watching the team warm-up on the field. This week is the big game against their biggest in-state rivalry and Sammy is super excited. Will the Cyclones win?

Coach Sloth's SAMMY SLOTH series shows kids how to be positive role models, have confidence in themselves, and to find a way to be active. But, this book shares Sammy's love of Iowa State Cyclone football by sharing a day at a Cyclone football game. Football fans and Cyclone fans will be thrilled with the play-by-play of the game and all the characters that will remind them of their favorite players.

Ryan Sloth
Former Iowa State Cyclone football player, Ryan Sloth, is living the dream as a children’s author. He grew up near Belmond, Iowa and has always been a Cyclone fan. Sloth started as a freshman walk-on at Iowa State in the late 1990’s. By his senior year, he was a starting defensive back and was part of the team that led Iowa State to win their first bowl game. He majored in sports management and also received a Master’s in high education. After college, he spent some time playing and coaching in arena football, including playing and coaching for the Iowa Barnstormers.

About ten years ago, while reading a football story to his son Tucker, he realized the author knew nothing about football and the story was so awful that he threw it away. It reminded him of a story he had written in high school as part of an English assignment with the character he created called, Sammy Sloth, a play on his last name. He called his mom and luckily, she still had the story he had written and illustrated. After making a few revisions and adding some new characters, including his family, he sent it out to a few publishers. About a month later, a publisher called and Sammy Sloth was a reality.

Sammy Sloth loves sports but because he is so slow, he has a hard time playing basketball and baseball. Sammy keeps searching and doesn’t give up finding the right sport for him. Eventually he finds golf and when he is told to take a “nice slow back swing” he knows it’s the sport for him. Sloth states, “Sammy makes the team and finds out golf is his sport.” Sloth creates each Sammy book to teach a lesson such as never giving up, believing in yourself, or having patience. He even co-authored one of his books with his son and one with his daughter.

Since Sloth’s time was flexible during the off-season, he began taking his books into the classrooms. Reading has always been important to him. Sloth states, “Growing up on a farm near in the 80’s, we had story time every night because there was nothing else to do. Mom would read a few chapters a night from The Little House on the Prairie books. As I got older, I wasn’t a huge reader, and then mom introduced me to the Matt Christopher series of sports themed books. I had no idea they made books about football and that got me interested in reading again.” It’s important for him to share the importance of literacy, showing kids that reading can be fun and there is a book out there for everyone.

Sloth has plenty of other exciting things on the horizon. Due to his connections with the arena football league, he has been able to appear in several movies with football related scenes including “We are Marshall” and “Leatherheads” as well as “The Dark Knight Rises”. After publishing eight books, his ninth is nearly published. Right now Sloth is spending his time reading chapter books with his son for research on writing his own chapter book for young readers. He is also writing a novel based on the real story of one of his fellow arena football teammates dying on the field. He wants to tell the story of his team and coaches and how they overcame the tragedy. Sloth states, “It’s a ‘We are Marshall’ type of story that I hope will eventually be made into a movie.”  

In the meantime, Sloth continues to tour elementary classrooms all over the state. He wants to share the message that literacy is important, finding books that you like make reading fun, and that reading can take you anywhere. For more on Coach Sloth or to schedule a visit at your school, you can check out his website, If you purchase books from there, he will autograph them before sending them out. 

To purchase a copy of IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL A TO Z, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to Coach Sloth for taking the time to chat with me and for sending copies of his books. If you choose to purchase a book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I love books like this!