Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything

Aly Raisman, with Blythe Lawrence. Little, Brown, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-47270-8
Late in this garden-variety sports memoir comes a revelation so heartbreaking it recasts everything Olympic gymnast Raisman has written about her journey from a toddler at a “Mommy and Me” tumbling class to captain of the gold medal–winning American teams at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Raisman alleges that the team doctor, Larry Nassar, sexually abused her under the guise of treating a nagging back injury, beginning when she was 15. The hurdles to Olympic glory were already high: grueling workouts, intense competition, battles with not just injury but the question of whether to report such an injury, since it might mean being passed over. The need to appear perfect in the presence of Martha Karolyi, head coach of the U.S. team, already produced constant pressure; then, a year before the 2016 Olympics, an investigator started asking questions about Nassar (currently imprisoned on child pornography charges). Raisman, who made up for any shortcomings by outworking everybody else, could not simply outwork this. Her inspirational story for young gymnasts becomes a cautionary tale about the importance of speaking up when something—or someone—is making you uncomfortable. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-9805-1
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-316-47267-8
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