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WINNING TEAM by Dominique Moceanu


From the Go-for-Gold Gymnasts series, volume 1

by Dominique Moceanu & Alicia Thompson

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: April 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4231-3633-0
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Finally, young female gymnasts have a book to call their own in this first title in The Go-for-Gold Gymnasts series, co-authored by Olympic gold medalist Moceanu.

Having recently achieved Junior Elite status, Brittany Morgan (who’s 12 but looks like a 9-year-old) and her family uproot from Ohio to Austin, Texas, so Brittany can train with the prestigious Texas Twisters and continue her path to the Olympics. The overconfident, homeschooled girl’s biggest chance to make new friends is with fellow trainees Christina, Noelle and Jessie, but somehow she keeps putting her foot in her mouth rather than solidly on the beam before her. She tries to temper her impulsivity in the face of Christina’s insecurities and Jessie’s possible eating disorder. The pedestrian, first-person narration's self-comparisons to Boo Radley will probably be lost on most in this audience, who are unlikely to have read To Kill a Mockingbird. In a predictable ending, Brittany realizes the true meaning and spirit of teamwork and brings her renewed enthusiasm to the rest of the Texas Twisters.

This insider’s view gives an interesting perspective on gymnasts’ lives, from their grueling work schedule and training methods to risk of injuries and even superstitious obsessions, but don’t expect any winning medals. (Fiction. 10-12)