SIMONE BILES by Susan Blackaby
Kirkus Star

SIMONE BILES

Making the Case for the Greatest of All Time
Age Range: 8 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This detailed profile of Simone Biles argues that she is the greatest gymnast of all time.

What are the criteria for being the “greatest of all time” in a field? This book posits an answer to that question and makes a compelling argument for Simone Biles as the G.O.A.T. of women’s gymnastics. To be an elite athlete takes a level of focus, training, dedication, and talent that most people don’t have. To become the G.O.A.T. requires another level of all of these, and Blackaby details not only the mental toughness and flexibility that get the African American gymnast through her hours of training, occasional setbacks, and nerve-wracking competitions, but the tools needed to attain those mental skills. These include a sports psychologist, the right coach, tough decisions about other areas of her life, and supportive family who invested in her success. A brief chapter on Biles’ home life and family is followed by more detail about her years of training and competitions. The focus on how she kept moving toward her goal sustains readers’ interest to the last page. Easy-to-read type with large, pink subheadings and full-color photographs sprinkled through the pages make this small volume read like a magazine. It’s a pleasingly, uniquely humanizing lens on the price of success for one young athlete of international renown. A lengthy bibliography provides plenty of references.

Informative and thrilling, it’s like a Rocky movie for kids. (glossary, index) (Biography. 8-14)(Glossary, Bibliography, Index)

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4549-3206-2
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Sterling
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