Friday, August 10, 2012

Go-for-Gold Gymnasts: Balancing Act by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson

Noelle Onesti is incredible on the balance beam. She has the opportunity to be one of the best Junior Elite gymnasts in the country. She's already qualified for the national championships, but it's going to cost a lot of money for her to make the trip from Texas to Philadelphia. Money is something her family doesn't have a lot of, and Noelle is worried that her gymnastics expenses are already putting a strain on her family. She doesn't want to disappoint her coaches or her parents, but she can't face the truth, either. Will she ever get her chance to show the country what she can do?

By this point in the series it's pretty clear that each of the girls in the Texas Twisters has their own issues/storylines: Britt is the new girl who struggles to fit in, Jessie is dealing with an eating disorder and taking a look at her commitment to gymnastics, Christina has an over-involved mom who's likely trying to live through her daughter. Noelle has buckets of talent, a competitive drive, attention to detail...and a sensitive nature that means she worries about everything. She worries about her parents' business, she worries about the financial toll of gymnastics, she worries about the way her older brother is acting out (and in turn worrying her parents, giving Noelle one more thing to worry about). The best part about this book is that it flushes out the personalities of all of the girls on the squad; we're no longer seeing them through Britt's eyes (and get to see Britt through someone else's eyes). This four-book series is just what to give young readers who have been entranced by Gabby Douglas and the other gymnasts at the London Olympic Games. It doesn't gloss over the hardships that the gymnasts face but still packs in a lot of drama, action, and heart.

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: Winning Team by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson
The Go-for-Gold Gymnasts: Reaching High by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson

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