“Winning Team” and “Balancing Act” by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson for ages 9 and up.
Just in time for the Olympic Games comes the “Go-for-Gold Gymnasts” books, written by someone who knows about Olympic competition: Author Dominique Moceanu was part of the U.S. women’s team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga.
The series of four books (the other titles are “Unexpected Twist” and “Reaching High”) follows four girls who are competitive gymnasts but members of the same team. Each book focuses on a different girl.
In “Balancing Act,” 12-year-old Noelle Onesti has always been perfect, but as the Junior Nationals approach, something has distracted her from her training. How can she balance being a normal girl with being the star gymnast she dreams of becoming?
In “Winning Team,” Brittany Lee Morgan moves to Texas to train with some of the best young gymnasts in the country. But how will she fit in with the other girls?
If you watch the gymnastics competitions during the Olympics and read these books, you’ll get a strong sense of what it takes to make it in this sport. After all, the author knows firsthand.