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Meet the Author!

America’s top author of sports books for young readers, Buckley has written more than 200 books on sports and other topics for kids, including titles on baseball, football, soccer, the Olympics, and more. His latest works are in the Show Me History graphic nonfiction series, including biographies of Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr., and Babe Ruth. More SMH titles are coming in 2020 and 2021. He has written 14 titles in the New York Times' bestselling "Who Was..." biography series, including titles on Muhammad Ali, the Wright Brothers, Milton Hershey, Betsy Ross, and Roberto Clemente. And he has two books in the bestselling DK Lives series: Alexander Hamilton and Jesse Owens. He produces the annual Scholastic Year in Sports, the top-selling sports title in Scholastic Book Fairs. He has written often about animals and the natural world, including such titles as the Animal Planet Animal Atlas, Bugopedia  and Snakeopedia (Time Inc Books/Discovery). He also co-wrote four books in the award-winning X-Why-Z series from Time for Kids/Time Inc Books and two books in the Smithsonian series from Penguin Books for Young Readers on the International Space Station and Pluto. With his book-packaging company, he produced six DK Eyewitness titles on sports. He has also written popular reference books and titles on nature, history, space, and cars. (Under the pseudonym of K.C. Kelley, he has written more than 150 other books for The Child’s World, Mason Crest, Bellwether Media, and other school and library publishers.) His book-producing company, the Shoreline Publishing Group, has created more than 400 books for children and adults. Shoreline’s publishing partners include Scholastic, DK, Readers’ Digest, Triumph, Chelsea House, Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, Time Inc. Books, Bearport Publishing, PowerHouse Kids, and many more. Shoreline also produced the annual Fantasy Football Preview magazine with Time Inc. Home Entertainment and the NFL.

In 2010, he started a new publishing company, Beach Ball Books, which created and published nonfiction books for kids, mostly on sports. In 2013, Shoreline bought Beach Ball and will occasionally publish under that imprint. Beach Ball titles include The New Zoo and Sharkies: Amazing Animal Awards.

Before starting Shoreline in 2000, Buckley was a senior editor at NFL Publishing, where he covered Super Bowls, helped start, and created numerous children’s books on the league and its players. Prior to that, he was the editorial projects manager of Sports Illustrated, working on special sections on a wide variety of sports and major sports events. He has also been a newspaper columnist, a freelance writer, and the editor of several children’s magazines.

Buckley is very involved with sports in his community, serving as a coach for youth baseball and soccer, and working on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Foresters. That summer wood-bat college-level team has won seven national championships since 2004 and has been ranked in the national top four every year since 2003. Buckley’s work with the team includes producing the game program, raising funds, and occasionally calling games on the radio.

Buckley has a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley and also studied at the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard. He lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Patty and their two children.

Here’s a (mostly complete) list of books written by James Buckley, Jr.



2021 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2020*)

     *Written and published annually since 2010
Sports by the Numbers: Basketball (National Geographic Kids, 2020)

Sports by the Numbers: Soccer (National Geographic Kids, 2020)

Show Me History: Muhammad Ali (Portable Press, 2020)

Show Me History: Jesus (Portable Press, 2020)

Show Me History: Babe Ruth (Portable Press, 2020)

Show Me History: Harriet Tubman (Portable Press, 2020)

Who Was Benedict Arnold? (Penguin Workshop, 2020)

Talking Sports series (Child's World, 2020)

WNBA Series (Child's World, 2020)

Gymnastics (Beach Ball, 2019)

Danger Below (Six books; Bearport, 2020)

2020 Football Superstars (Beach Ball, 2020)

2020 Baseball Superstars (Beach Ball, 2020)

2020 Basketball Superstars (Beach Ball, 2019)

Baseball Hall of Fame Collection (re-issue, Metro, 2020)

Baseball's Classic Ballparks (re-issue, B&N, 2020)


2020 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2019*)

     *Written and published annually since 2010
Alexander Hamilton (DK Life Stories) (DK Publishing, 2019)

Michael Collins: Unsung Heroes (Aladdin, 2019)

Slimy Animals (Tangerine Press, 2019)

Show Me History: Amelia Earhart (Portable Press, 2019)

Show Me History: Martin Luther King Jr. (Portable Press, 2019)

2019 Football Superstars (Beach Ball, 2019)

2019 Soccer Superstars (Beach Ball, 2019)

Gymnastics (Beach Ball, 2019)

The Dinos: Amazing Animal Awards (Beach Ball, 2019)

Space Farming (Heinemann Library, 2019)

Athletes Who Care (Heinemann Library, 2019)

Break Out of the Hive (Heinemann Library, 2019)


2019 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2018*)

*Written and published annually since 2010
Who Is Pele? (Penguin Workshop, 2018)

Who Was Booker T. Washington? (Penguin Workshop, 2018)

Bonnie and Clyde: History's Villains (Aladdin, 2018)

Michael Jackson: Amazing Americans (Bearport, 2018)

Top Ten in Sports (five titles, Child's World, 2018)

Sharkies (Beach Ball, 2018)

The New Zoo (Beach Ball, 2018)

Football: The Ultimate Insiders' Guide (Beach Ball, 2018, co-author)



2018 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2017*)

*Written and published annually since 2010
Football Superstars (Scholastic, 2017)

Antarctic Wildlife (Mason Crest, 2017)

Who Are Venus and Serena Williams? (Grosset & Dunlap, 2017)

My Teenage Life in Greece (Mason Crest, 2017)

Bugs: Animal Planet Reader (Liberty Street/Discovery, 2017)

Snakes: Animal Planet Readers (Liberty Street/Discovery, 2017)

Real-Life Heroes: DK Reader (DK, 2017)

Adolf Hitler: History's Villains (Aladdin, 2017)

Spacesuits (Smithsonian/Penguin, 2017)

Stars and Galaxies: DK Reader: (DK, 2017)

Kevin Durant: Amazing Americans (Bearport, 2017)

Katie Ledecky: Amazing Americans (Bearport, 2017)

Simone Biles: Amazing Americans (Bearport, 2017)

SI Kids Sports Puzzle Activity Book (Liberty Street, 2018)

Amazing Adventures (six books, by K.C. Kelley, Amicus, 2018)

Field Trips, Let's Go! (eight books, by K.C. Kelley, Amicus, 2018)



Scholastic Reader: Alexander Hamilton (Scholastic, 2016)

2017 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2016*)

*Written and published annually since 2010

Listopia: Earth (Bonnier, 2016)

The Moon (Penguin/Smithsonian, 2016)

Curious About . . . Pluto (Penguin/Smithsonian, 2016)

Who Was Jules Verne? (Grosset & Dunlap, 2016)

Animal Planet Animal Atlas (Liberty Street/Time Inc/Discovery, 2016)

Rob Gronkowski (Bearport, 2016)

Odell Beckham Jr. (Bearport, 2016)

J.J. Watt (Bearport, 2016)

James Monroe: The Presidents (Bearport, 2016)

Grover Cleveland: The Presidents (Bearport, 2016)

NFL Superstars (Scholastic, 2016)

MLB Superstars (Scholastic, 2016)

NBA Superstars (Scholastic, 2016)

NFL Power Passers (Scholastic, 2016)

Spiders and Other Dangerous Creatures (DK, 2016)

Von Miller: Super Bowl MVP (Bearport, 2016)

Fantasy Football (Mason Crest, 2016)

Running the NFL (Mason Crest, 2016)

Space Exploration: The Solar System (Mason Crest, 2016)



2016 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2015*)

*Written and published annually since 2010

Who Was Betsy Ross? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2015)

Who Was Blackbeard? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2015)

Who Was Seabiscuit? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2015)

Who Was Jesse Owens? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2015)

X-Why-Z: Your Body (THEI, 2015)

Bugopedia (Discovery/THEI, 2015)

Cars (Scholastic UK, 2015)

Crazy Science with Carmelo the Science Fellow (PowerHouse, 2015)

Home Address: ISS (Penguin Children's, 2015)

Tom Brady: Super Bowl MVP (Bearport, 2015)

NFL Superstars (Scholastic, 2015)

NBA Superstars (Scholastic, 2015)

MLB Superstars (Scholastic, 2015)

NFL Power Passers (Scholastic, 2015)

Amazing Me: Travel! (Studio Fun, 2015)

Animal Planet Animal Encyclopedia (co-author, Time Inc. Books, 2015)



2015 Scholastic Year in Sports (Scholastic, 2014*)

*Written and published annually since 2010

Who Was Roberto Clemente? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2014)

Who Was Muhammad Ali? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2014)

Who Were the Wright Brothers? (Grossett & Dunlap, 2014)

NFL Superstars (Scholastic, 2014)

NBA Superstars (Scholastic, 2014)

NFL Dynamic Duos (Scholastic, 2014)

Time for Kids Explorers: Robots (THEI, 2014)

X-Why-Z: Animals (THEI, 2014)

X-Why-Z: Space (THEI, 2014)

Dolphin Dive (Scholastic, 2014)

Snakeopedia (Discovery/THEI, 2014)

Amazing Me! (Readers' Digest/Studio Fun, 2014, girls and boys editions)

Magic Months (12-book series; The Child's World, 2014)


Who Was Milton Hershey?
Who Was Ernest Shackleton?
Things That Go
Dolphin Dive
NFL's Power Passers
NFL Superstars
Big Book of Why (co-author)
X-Why-Z (co-author)


Scholastic Year in Sports
NFL Superstars


Ultimate Guide to Basketball
Extreme Sports: Child's World (10 vols.)
MLS World of Soccer


Eyewitness Baseball
50 Years of American Sports
Scholastic Ultimate Guide to Baseball
Lou Gehrig: More Than Just a Ballplayer
Sports in America: Revised Edition


Scholastic Year in Sports (co-author)
Scholastic Ultimate Guide to Football
Skating Superstars
Obsessed with Football
Super Bowl Fireworks
SmartCards: Soccer, Pirates, Horses


Boys’ Life: Let’s Go Fishing
Boys’ Life: Nature Detectives
Boys’ Life: Real-Life Robots
Boys’ Life: Night Creatures
Greatest NFL & Super Bowl Records


Scholastic Book of Firsts
SI Kids’ Amazing World of Sports
Obsessed with Baseball
NBA on the Inside


Eyewitness NASCAR
Six Classic Ballparks
Perfect: The Story of Baseball’s 17 Perfect Games
Scholastic Book of Lists 2
(plus Canadian edition)
The Bathroom Companion
(plus French edition)
Unhittable (with DVD)
Greatest Sports Rivalries (co-author)
Young Stars of NASCAR


Bill Bradley
Eyewitness Super Bowl
Eyewitness World Series
G.I. Joe at D-Day
G.I. Joe at Pearl Harbor
Great Moments in Football
Great Moments in Hockey
Life in the Pits
Muhammad Ali
NFL Adventures: The Lost Cowboy Ghost
Scholastic Book of Lists 1
(plus Canadian and Australian editions)
Sports Immortals (co-author)
Speedway Superstars
Venus and Serena Williams
Visual Dictionary of Baseball