Book Review: Gold Medal Summer
Gymnastics come alive on the page
Gold Medal Summer
By: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Ages: 10 and up
Get ready to tumble in with some cartwheels, handstands, and back flips in the book Gold Medal Summer. This book plunges you right into the breathtaking world of gymnastics with the main character, Joey Jordan.
Joey Jordan, a 13-year-old girl, is a gymnast who is optimistic of winning a gold medal in the Regionals State competition. But she has a big fear of doing a series of moves - back handsprings, to be exact - on the beam and always falls, which messes up her routine. She usually wins bronze and silver medals, but she has never won gold.
Joey wants to change her routine into something that she is strong in. However, her coach does not agree. The assistant coach, Maureen, has confidence that Joey would do better if her routine were different. She and Julia plot secretly to train Joey with a new routine that she will be able to perform in time for the Regionals. But Joey's biggest concern is having Coach Angelo disqualify her from the Regionals for their daring act.
In all the time that Joey competed, her parents rarely attended her competitions. They are not supportive. Joey feels that if they attended her competitions, she would win. But Joey's not in this alone. Alex, Joey's best friend and another gymnast, decides to quit gymnastics for good. Alex has an ankle injury that hurts her, and she is tired of the pressure of gymnastic life. Joey worries about not having Alex's support in future competitions. Julia, Joey's older sister, was a former gymnast who won gold in the Nationals competition. Julia made the decision to retire from gymnastics. She sometimes helps and supports Joey.
On top of that, an old friend named Tanner just moved back into town, and Joey starts to like him. But boys and gymnastics don't mix, so Joey will have to choose between the two.
I really liked this book because of the suspense it contains. Although I never did gymnastics, the vivid descriptions made me feel as if I was walking on the beam with Joey. I was also able to relate with some of Joey's feelings.
Will Joey chose Tanner over gymnastics? Will she finally earn a gold medal? Will her parents watch her perform? Will Coach Angelo agree to Joey's new routine? Read Gold Medal Summer to find out the answers!
Check out Kid Reporter Aminah Tamimi's interview with Donna Freitas, author of Gold Medal Summer!
Do you need help picking out what book to read next? Find out what Kid Reporters are saying about all the latest books by reading their book reviews in this special report.
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