Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inside the Olympics by Nick Hunter

In 1896, a modern sporting tradition began; the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. In the century since for first Olympics, the games have seen triumph and tragedy, power and passion. There have been incredible athletes who won - and lost - Olympic medals and athletes who made powerful statements just by being at the games. There have been many scandals (drugs, cheating, corruption behind the scenes) and even some fatal acts of violence. Some sports have been held ever year since 1896 (or 1924, the first year of the Winter Olympic Games) and others couldn't even have been dreamed of by the organizers of those games. Inside the Olympics looks at the history of the Olympics, great moments and athletes, and how the games are organized in the Twenty-First Century. 

I was in Grade Four during the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, and I remember us doing a unit on it in class. That's when I became really interested in the Olympics and figure skating in particular. Because of that, I always love seeing new books about the Olympics that are written for kids. Inside the Olympics does a great job of covering the event from the ancient games through to the present day, with a look to this year's London games and beyond. The print in the eBook version that I read was a little small in the viewer, but it likely is a bit more readable in the print version. All of the things that I expected to be in here are here (Muhammad Ali's win in 1960, the black power salute in 1968, Jesse Owens at "Hitler's Olympics" in 1936, Michael Phelps's gold medals in 2008, a biography of Pierre de Coubertin, Ben Johnson's story in 1988) along with stuff that I wasn't expecting (the coverage of the Winter Olympics, the focus on the Paralympics and Paralympic athletes). Maps, charts, and a glossary of terms round out this solid non-fiction title. If your classroom or library has an outdated Olympic title on the shelves (or you're looking to kindle some Olympic interest in a child of your own), this is a great choice for a new replacement.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Capstone.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Modern Olympic Games by Haydn Middleton
How to Train with a T. Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals by Michael Phelps
The Olympics: Legendary Sporting Events by Matt Christopher

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