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.
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