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 
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  1. bermudaonion on April 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I love books like this!

  2. San Antonio House Leveling on October 21, 2020 at 2:11 am

    These books are definitely some great reads. The kids will be so happy!

  3. foundation repair on January 23, 2021 at 7:36 am

    I really enjoyed reading this book to my students. Would definitely recommend!

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