Donna Freitas' Gold Medal Summer
Author writes from her experience as a gymnast
Donna Freitas, a retired gymnast, shares her experiences on gymnastics in her newly published book, Gold Medal Summer.
As a kid, Freitas was a gymnast. But she retired at the age of 15 due to an injury. She was inspired to write Gold Medal Summer because as a child, she really wanted to read books about gymnastics. At that time, though, books on girls doing gymnastics were rare.
In Gold Medal Summer, a 13-year-old gymnast named Joey Jordan has to make decisions concerning her gymnastic life. She must choose between boys and gymnastics, since boys and gymnastics don't mix. She also has to tolerate her stern coach. Joey's everlasting dream is to win a gold medal in the Regionals competition, something she never won before.
Besides sharing Joey's experience as a gymnast, Freitas says that she grew up next to the beach. She would often go in the morning and do handstands in the sand, just like Joey. Freitas also shares Joey's weakness for boys.
Although Gold Medal Summer does not have a specific message, Freitas hopes that girls who do - and don't do - gymnastics could relate to Joey's problems, off and on the beam.
Freitas likes Joey's personality-headstrong and determined. Joey went through many discouragements, from her unsupportive parents to her coach's strictness. However, that didn't let Joey give up in trying to reach for a gold medal.
Freitas says that most of her books, including Gold Medal Summer, take about one year to write. The best thing about writing books, in Freitas' opinion, is choosing the characters.
Freitas advice for future authors is to write a lot. "You should get yourself into a habit of writing," she says.
As for watching the gymnastics competitions during the Olympics this summer, Freitas says she can't wait to see them.
Check out Kid Reporter Aminah Tamimi's review of Gold Medal Summer !
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