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Gold Medal Summer
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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.
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About the Author

Donna Freitas participated in competitive gymnastics for seven years, retiring due to injury at the age of fifteen. She is now the author of seven books, including the young-adult novels THIS GORGEOUS GAME and THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD, which received five starred reviews. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Please visit her website at http: //www.donnafreitas.com.

Reviews

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 5-8-Joey Jordan 13, is an elite gymnast-she spends eight hours a day at the gym, leaving little time for boys, friends outside of her teammates, and other typical teenage activities. Her older sister retired from gymnastics after winning the national title, and Joey's parents are so burned out that they don't even attend her competitions. But things are changing. Joey's best friend is thinking about giving up gymnastics. Joey is working behind the back of her ultra-strict coach with her sister and assistant coach on new routines that play more to her strengths. And she's become reacquainted with an old friend who's now incredibly "hot" and wants to be her boyfriend-but boyfriends are forbidden because they can destroy an athlete's focus. Joey has never won a gold medal at competitions, but she wonders if she can win the upcoming regional championships and then go further. Donna Freitas was a competitive gymnast, and her novel (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books, 2012) convincingly presents the stress, excitement, pain, and pure joy of the sport. Jaselyn Blanchard convincingly portrays the young protagonist as well as the other characters. Although many aspects of the story are predictable, the plot and characters will appeal to the many tweens who will be particularly interested in gymnastics after the success of this year's U.S. Olympic team.-Margo Tanenbaum, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Praise for GOLD MEDAL SUMMER: "GOLD MEDAL SUMMER... successfully reflects the competitive gymnast's spunk, thanks to Donna Freitas's flash[y] style and relatable protagonist." -- NEW YORK TIMES "[An] 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." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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