Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Go-For-Gold Gymnasts: Winning Team by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson

Britt loves gymnastics. She's already at the Junior Elite level, and her family has just moved to Houston and she has the chance to train at a big gym with a professional coach. She's nervous about training at a new place where she doesn't know anyone, and when the other girls are less than welcoming, she starts worrying about how she's going to fit in. It's going to take more than an amazing beam routine in order for Britt to feel like she's part of a winning team!

(Some very mild spoilers below)

I found this series after I re-read Go for the Gold by Elizabeth Levy. I was really excited by it; I can remember when Dominique Moceanu was part of the Magnificent 7 team at the 1996 Summer Olympics. While I'm no expert on elementary school-geared sports series, I can definitely see this appealing to young girls. Britt is a likeable character. She's young but not childish; her perspective is limited because her life experience is limited. She has to deal with things like problems with her parents and trying to make friends with people who are jealous of her. It does feel a bit cliched to have a story about gymnasts that includes a storyline about a girl with an eating disorder, but it did take an interesting turn (Britt does the right thing and people lash out at her). You don't need to have extensive gymnastics knowledge in order to read the book. There were a few terms that were lost on me, but there is a glossary at the back of the book to fill in some blanks. It looks like the other books in the series will have different points of view, with each girl taking a turn. If the Olympics gets you interested in American gymnastics, consider picking up this series.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Go for the Gold by Elizabeth Levy
Off Balance: A Memoir by Dominique Moceanu
The Go-For-Gold Gymnasts: Balancing Act by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson

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