Gold Medal Summer

Donna Freitas. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-545-32788-6
Joey Jordan, 14, craves one thing: to win gold at the Regionals gymnastics meet this summer, and she’s willing to go against her parents’ wishes and give up a “normal” teenage life to do it. But Joey’s competitiveness falters when her best friend, Alex, decides to quit gymnastics, and a cute boy from her past shows up and wants to hang out. In her first middle-grade novel, YA author and PW contributor Freitas (The Survival Kit) offers young readers plenty to relate to: living in the shadow of a perfect older sibling, battling with parents over life’s choices, and handling insecurities that make it seem like failure is looming large. Her story also focuses intently on gymnastics: its demanding training, the rivalries between competitors, and the challenges of a sport that requires physicality, grace, and showmanship. It’s a predictable but enjoyable story of a girl overcoming obstacles to realize her dreams, and for readers who have dreamed of trying out the balance beam or uneven bars, Joey’s story will be captivating. Ages 9–12. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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