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Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance Hardcover – November 15, 2016
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Nineteen-year-old Biles, Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated U.S. gymnast of all time, takes readers along her journey to the podium in this memoir. After spending her early childhood in and out of foster care, Biles was adopted by her biological grandparents. She began her gymnastics training at the age of six after a field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, where the coaches quickly discovered that she “had what it took to go all the way.” Biles describes not only her gymnastics training and career but also her personal life, including her grandmother’s death, the difficult decisions she made in order to balance school and gymnastics, her “bratty period” in her early teens, and her love for her car, with its zebra-print interior. In recent years, Biles has won three consecutive world championship titles followed by her team gold and individual wins at the 2016 Olympics. Biles’s narration is effervescent, showing her to be, as her brother says, “a goofy and down-to-earth kid.” The tone is conversational and includes casual phrases such as “if you can’t already tell” and “just kidding.” She expresses appreciation for her family, friends, teammates, and coaches and frequently credits God and her faith for her success. One slight caveat: readers without background knowledge about gymnastics may not find the terminology to be adequately explained. VERDICT Essential for libraries serving tween and teen gymnastics fans.–Magdalena Teske, Naperville Public Library, IL (School Library Journal)
Who can forget the radiant smile and inexhaustible energy of four-feet-eight, 19-year-old Simone Biles, Olympian gymnast? This inspiring and humorous memoir details how Simone, with the help and support of her family, coaches, faith, and friends, succeeded in winning five Olympic medals in 2016, four gold and a bronze. After a brief time in foster care, Simone was six when she and her younger sister were adopted by her grandparents (whom she refers to as her mom and dad). Flipping on the family trampoline and an unexpected daycare trip to the local tumbling gym sparked her love of gymnastics. Despite her rookie success, she missed being selected for the USA women’s junior team by one spot and was too young to compete in the 2012 Olympics. But success was in her future, due in part to her incredible support system---her parents even built their own gym. Simone is admirable, but it’s the unwavering support of her family and coaches that will make a lasting impact on readers. -Sharon Rawlins (Booklist)
About the Author
MICHELLE BURFORD is a #1 New York Times bestselling celebrity ghostwriter and a founding editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Harvard-trained journalist whose work has taken her to more than 35 countries on six continents. A native of Phoenix, Michelle now resides in New York City. Read more about her creations at MichelleBurford.com.
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Top customer reviews
I want to read it again and again and I will continue to take a look at it whenever I need some sort of inspiration in my life. This young woman is younger than me yet she inspires me so much. I laughed, cried and cheered reading this book. I have so, so much admiration for Simone. God willing, she will continue to break barriers and continue to be greater.
I am a fan of gymnastics but I haven't always followed it outside of the Olympics because no offense but the girls personalities are a bit too cold (for my liking). I understand this is required of their sport and this is no criticism of these young women who devote so much time and sacrifice so much for the sport but the main reason I am bringing this up is because Simone made me fall in love with gymnastics all over again. She by far has the best personality I have ever seen from someone of her caliber , notoriety and talent; I say this as someone who follows various sports a lot. She is VERY bubbly, energetic, fun, giggly, selfless and most importantly extremely humble.I know a lot of people who don't even have a 10th of her talent who are very big headed but Simone is just a normal young woman who just happens to be extremely, extremely gifted.
I named my review " straight from the heart " because I was pleasantly surprised at how candid she was in this book; she was very honest. I really didn't expect that but I appreciated it. I love the fact that she is still extremely close with all her close friends with who she grew up with . There is so much more I can say about this book but I dont like to reveal spoilers in my reviews . I really encourage people to read this book and dare to be inspired by this phenomenal young woman . I knew who she was before the Olympics and reading this book made me even more of a fan of hers. I cant wait to see what the future holds for her.
I read several pages of it with her, and personally can't wait until she is done so I can read it too....lol.