From School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Gymnast Douglas may have made it look easy to win gold at the 2012 Olympics, but getting there was no easy feat. Her single mother worked double shifts to make ends meet, and her siblings gave up their activities so Gabrielle could train. This inspiring autobiography will be enjoyed by young fitness enthusiasts, dedicated gymnasts, or Christian adolescents, though it focuses mostly on the family's sacrifice and less on the actual competition at the Olympics, which some listeners may find disappointing. While Haleakala Wilson speaks well with proper inflection and typical teen speak (sorta, kinda, lol) listeners may find it hard to discern how Gabrielle's mother feels. Is she angry or just frustrated when Gabrielle wants to quit? Listeners will understand that the family believes that their faith and determination to overcome obstacles is what led Gabrielle to be able to be the first African American to win the all-around competition. This audio version could be an additional selection for libraries looking for autobiographies aimed at a middle school audience.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
--This text refers to the
About the Author
Gabrielle Douglas is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she made history, becoming the first US gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same Olympics. Gabrielle began her training at age six, and became the Virginia State Champion only two years later. When she was fourteen, she left her family in Virginia Beach to train with coach Liang Chow in Des Moines, Iowa. Under Chow’s guidance, and with tremendous faith in God’s plan for her, Gabrielle competed in the Olympic Trials and walked away with the only guaranteed spot on the team. Since her Olympic triumph, Gabrielle has used her platform to inspire millions with a powerful message: With hard work and persistence, any dream is possible. Visit her online at www.gabrielledouglas.com
Michelle Burford is a Harvard-trained journalist in Manhattan and a founding editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. Though she has visited nearly three dozen countries on six continents and interviewed scores of folks along the way, she’d never once even attempted a cartwheel until the day she watched Gabby claim the Olympic gold medal. One month and two enormous bumps on the forehead later, Michelle teamed up with Gabby to bring you the story behind the story. To check out more of Michelle's creations, swing by www.michelleburford.com.