Thursday, 10 May 2012

Gym Stars #3: Handsprings and Homework by Jane Lawes (Children's, 9 years +)

1st May 2012, Usborne
141 pages, Paperback
Personal copy

Themes: being a gymnast, lots of training, balancing school work, doing badly at school, copying work, being distracted, not remembering precious life lessons, friendships rocked and secured, parental supervision, having unrealistic ideals, unhealthy obsession, some laughs, tissues needed

Summary from Usborne

Gym-mad Tara still can't believe she's part of the Silverdale Gymnastics Club - and that she's through to a national competition! But Tara's homework is starting to pile up and when her teachers notice that her school work is sliding she's in big trouble... Can Tara finish all her work on time and win a gold medal?

Nayuleska's thoughts
I thought Tara's life was hard in book 1, Summertime and Somersaults, as well as book 2 (see suggested reading for link), but I'm wrong. Having burnt out once in my life, Tara's warning signs rang out clearly to me. Her passion is unrivalled, but she takes it a step too far. She has to lean on others to help her straighten life out. Before this happens I shared all her guilt and self-doubt. The ending had a few very pleasant surprises (which made me cey), making this a 10/10 read.

You can find out more on Jane's website.

Suggested reading

Definitely read the other books in the series, including book 2, Friendships and Backflips, where Tara started flailing in life 

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