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A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times Hardcover – June 26, 2012

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, Booklist, June 2012:
“Supported by loads of fascinating quotes, this history of the ancient and early modern Olympics shines.”

About the Author

BENSON BOBRICK earned his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of one other nonfiction book for young people, The Battle of Nashville, and several critically acclaimed books for adults. In 2002, he received the Literature Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, Hilary, divide their time between New York and Vermont.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375868690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375868696
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,972,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Andrea Coventry on August 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
[This review also appears on Andi's Young Adult Books.]

It's the Summer of 2012, which means it is time for the Summer Olympics in London, England. This athletic tradition has deeper roots than some kids can imagine. A Passion for Victory seeks to tell the story of that tradition, starting with the Ancient Greeks through the early modern era.

It opens with a chronology that highlights major events. The first story is about a man who survived the icy waters after the Titanic sank and went on to be an Olympic champion. The timing of that story is also notable because 2012 marks the 100 year-anniversary of the Titanic sinking.

The first two chapters go into a lot of detail about the original Olympic games that took place in Ancient Greece. It compares those games to the modern ones. The next several chapters focus on the revival of the modern Olympic games in the 1800s, particularly the first 100 years. The epilogue focuses on the Olympics around WWII and includes several photographs. An appendix features lists of medal records won from 1896 to 1948.

This book reads very much like a textbook and isn't as engaging as others I have read. The language used is more appropriate for older readers, which is why I have it classified as young adult and not so much as a chapter book. Also, discussions of Hitler and political topics are more appropriate for older students. These aspects of the Olympics are not as often discussed when talking about the topic. I did also notice much more discussion of women in the politics, as well. It is full of lots of information and resources for further study.

I received a complimentary eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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