By Julie Terrone
Who doesn’t love the Olympics? The stories of the athletes and how they got to achieve their goals of getting to the games, competing in their sports and sometimes even bringing home a medal is inspiring. One great way to celebrate the London Olympics which started today is to read a new series of books about the world of competitive sports, in this case gymnastics.
Former Olympic Gold Medalist Gymnast Dominique Moceanu has teamed up with Alicia Thompson to pen a fliptastic new tween series of books called the Go for Gold Gymnasts, which are perfect for any girl who dreams of competing at such a high level. Published by Disney Books, the series consists of 4 books about 4 girls and their events, each highlighting the challenges and triumphs of four high level gymnasts between the ages of 12 and 14. The girls must maintain their elite training and establish friendships while trying to balance their normal lives. While there are four books in the series, you don’t have to read them in any specific order for them to make sense. The series is full of heart, humor and spirit. I can’t wait to share these books with my daughter.
Book 1: Winning Team is about a girl named Britt, who has just moved with her family to train at a world class facility in Texas. Britt learns that making new friends in a new place is just as challenging as training in this elite sport. Her 3 teammates (the other girls in this series) Christina, Noelle and Jesse are not too happy upon her arrival and they do not make it easy for Britt to feel welcome and worthy of being a member of their elite school.
Book 2: Balancing Act introduces Noelle, whose main apparatus is the beam. She has gymnastics in her blood since her mother was an elite gymnast from Romania. She has Olympic dreams and she can’t let anything get in her way to achieve her goals, but she is a worrier. Gymnastics means everything to this girl and she does not have much of a life outside of the gym, but she is asked to the school dance by a boy and is not sure what to do. She has her sights on an upcoming National Championship and competing in the Olympics, does she have time for a social life?
Book 3: Reaching High is the story about shy girl named Jesse who will be entering a new school for freshman year. She still maintains her super competitive gymnastics but decides to shock everybody by joining the cheerleading squad. She decides it is time to stop hiding in the shadow of her teammates and build new friendships outside of her teammates. She becomes a great asset to the squad, but she is distancing herself from her gymnastics friends Britt, Noelle and Christina. Can she somehow bridge this gap between old friends and new friends?
Book 4: Unexpected Twist, the last book int eh series, is about the girl who seems to have it all. Christina is a fiery, yet graceful girl. Her whole world revolves around the gym and she is on the brink of becoming the first Junior Elite all-around champion at the American Invitational, but during her vault routine landing, she hurts her ankle. She has pushed herself too hard and now feels lost when her training is not her number one focus. She finds an understanding friend, but it her teammate Noelle’s brother and a boy is the last thing she should be thinking of at this time.
This series of books is a winner in our eyes. Anything that helps promote sports for young girls is fantastic for their self esteem and discipline. Even if you are not a gymnast, you will still enjoy this series since basically these stories are about friendship, fitting in, overcoming obstacles and going for your dreams! Bravo to Dominique Moceanu for sharing these stories to inspire girls around the world. We recommend this series of books to all girl tweens and teens.
COST: Each book is $5.99 and available in books stores, on amazon.com, and for Kindle.
Go here for more information about the series.
I receive a complimentary copy of all 4 books in the Go for Gold Gymnasts series for the purpose of this review.