Saturday, May 26, 2012

MG Review: Gold Medal Summer by Donna Freitas

Just in time for the Olympics: A gymnastics novel to flip for!

Joey Jordan loves gymnastics: the thrill of performing a backflip on the beam, the cheers of the audience when she sticks a landing. But even with all her talent and style, she's never quite made it to that gold medal stand.

Now big changes shake up Joey's life in and out of the gym. Joey wants to break out some daring new beam and floor routines--but she'll have to defy her strict coach to do it. Her best friend, Alex, is thinking about quitting gymnastics for good. And an old friend named Tanner just moved back to town, and he's suddenly gotten very, very cute. Can Joey handle all the challenges coming her way, and make her gold medal summer happen at last?

Drawing on her real-life experience as a competitive gymnast, acclaimed novelist Donna Freitas delivers both a terrific gymnastics story and a classic novel about stretching some limits, bending the rules, and finding your balance.

Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age
Source: Thanks so much to Scholastic for providing a review copy!

I haven't read any MG for awhile now. This is another one I'll mark down as 'must read' for my girls when they are old enough. It's such a sweetly moving story of one girl's summer and how she basically matures and gains confidence in herself.

I found the content to bring back so many nostalgic memories of my own summers around this time of my life. Maybe not so much the gymnastics part of it in my case :) Your first crush, the nervous anticipation of seeing that someone...your first kiss. It was really easy to relate to all the things that Joey was feeling. I think 13-14 years old is a time of enormous change for kids. Especially one involved in a sport that takes so much sacrifice and dedication.

I loved seeing Joey change so much from the first chapter to the last. Her transformation from questioning her abilities and whether there is room for boys (one in particular) in her grueling gymnastics training to realizing what is most important to HER and how to manage her priorities was so well done. And although I don't know much about gymnastics, I really loved every part of this book.

This was an entertaining read for any age, but spot on for any Middle Grader. It shines a light on believing in yourself and sticking with your goals. A perfect book just in time for summer!


Yago Dalben said...


Great review :D But I don't think this is the kind of book I'd enjoy.

(MY "DIVERGENT" ARRIVED!!!! Can't wait to read it. Thanks so much for the giveaway :)

Jackie's Little World said...

Thanks, Yago ;) And I'm Sooooo glad you've got your book now! I would die of shock if you don't like it, haha!