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Gymnastics Hardcover – May 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067086949X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670869497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,540,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8?A straightforward overview. Gutman covers the history of the sport, its events, judging, and scoring in an informal, breezy style and profiles people and problems, both past and present, within the readable text. An eight-page full-color insert appears at the center of the book. Average-quality black-and-white photographs are sprinkled throughout. While the factual presentation is informative, the writing is often choppy and is marred by the use of slang expressions. Nonetheless, the harsh realities of the sport and its effects on individuals come through loud and clear.?Janice C. Hayes, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreeboro
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-8. Gutman traces the history of gymnastics, from the first Greeks who took bulls by the horns and vaulted onto their backs to the superstars vying to compete in the 1996 Olympics. Along the way, he discusses the evolution of the sport, explains men's and women's events and how they are judged, provides lots of anecdotes and brief biographies, and describes a typical day in the life of a gymnast. Gutman's tone throughout is breezy and enthusiastic, and, as his occasional, emphatic use of italics suggests, he is truly bedazzled by the athletes and their skill. But he also examines the dark side of the sport: serious injuries, eating disorders, abusive coaches, and the competitive system. A glossary, a chronology, and an entertaining chapter of gymnastics trivia round out this easily read, timely overview of a popular sport. Chris Sherman

More About the Author

This is hard. I'm a pretty regular Jersey guy who spent fifteen years trying to write newspaper articles, magazine articles, screenplays, books for adults, and just about everything else before I discovered the one thing I'm good at--writing fiction for kids. I aim for kids who DON'T like to read, and hopefully the kids who DO like to read will enjoy my stuff too. For all the gory details about me, check out my web site.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Laura R. Ray on August 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a former gymnast of fourteen years and an avid fan of the sport, I must say that this is the worst book on gymnastics I have ever read in my life. The author seems to have little in-depth knowledge of the sport and certain sections of the book, e.g., the sections on Bela Karolyi and the risks of gymnastics, seem suspiciously similar to two other books, Bela Karolyi's "Feel No Fear" and Joan Ryan's "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes." It's as if he summarized their work to make chapters for his book! Also, he fails to present the whole story when speaking of certain events that have taken place in gymnastics over the years, which may be misleading to the uneducated reader. In discussing Julissa Gomez, he tells you that she fell on her head doing the vault, fell into a coma, and died three years later. What he failed to tell you was that she wasn't in a coma following the vault; injured, yes, but in a coma, no. While in the hospital her breathing tube fell out and she was unable to get any oxygen; this led to the coma.
All in all, this is not a great book. If you want to know about the sport, try "Feel No Fear: The Passion, Power, and Politics of a Life in Gymanstics" by Bela Karolyi; "A History of Women's Gymnastics" by Minot Simons II; or, for a look at the darker side of the sport, "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" by Joan Ryan.
At the end of the book, the author said that someone asked him what qualifications he has to write a book on gymnastics. He said none. Well, he should have stopped right there!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Well, when I think about it, this book did have some good points. It mentioned things like which gymnasts were hopefuls for the Atlanta Olympics, and which gymnasts have had moves named after them. But there were also a lot of things that the author left out or got innacturate sources on. By 1994, Shannon Miller and Amy Chow both had moves named after them,(Amy had 2), and there was no mention of it. The gymnasts that were World and National Champions got the most attention, and the information was either outdated -- something that I read and thought "Everyone knows that", or just slightly off. I was also not impressed with the section that resembled "Little Girls In Pretty Boxes" by Joan Ryan. If the author was going to criticize the sport, I feel that he could have at least found his own sources and wording to do so. I felt it was unfair to the sport of gymnastics that the author had to devote a whole chapter to the eating disorders and life- threatening injuries of the sport, which made it seem like it happens to everyone in gymnastics. Before writing this book, the author should have considered the fact that a lot of the content could give gymnastics a bad image.... He also could have checked his records to give the reader accurate information, and included facts about the gymnasts that gymnastics fans didn't actually know about before reading the book. Overall, I'd be fair and give this book 2 stars because there was some positively interesting and original information..... but not much.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By StarGymnast on April 13, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
This was an okay book, though it probably could have been better. The book includes a history of the sport, its first superstars, the gymnastics events, judging and scoring, a day in the life of a gymnast, superstars of the 1990s, a chapter about the dangers of the sport, (more on that later) a timeline of important gymnastics dates, and trivia and facts. The book is a little dated and could use some updating, and the chapter that dissapointed me a lot was the chapter about "the price of success". Dan Gutman fails to mention that these things don't happen in every sport. He also fails to point out that he is talking about the ELITE level of gymnastics. Anyone who has read "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" will see that Gutman's source for the ENTIRE chapter was based upon that book! Dan Gutmnan used the same exact information just with different wording! That chapter clearly does not fit in with the rest of the book, which says nothing of the dark side of these sports. If you want to buy this book, I would say save your money and buy a different book- this one isn't the best.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 28, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
I thought that the book was excellent! It was very well written and it covered a lot of important and interesting things. I would've rated this book at 5 star, but I heard that in a short story about a girl that died because her head slammed into the vault and her neck snapped, then she went into a coma and died, the author didn't mention that when she was in the hospitol her air tube came out and they couldn't put it back in, and that's what made her go into a coma ( and as a result die) that made me angry because I expect the REAL facts when I read a book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i gav this rating because its great for learning a gymnasts experience. i recommend to anyone interested and overall, i loved the book
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