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Gold Medal Summer

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Just in time for the Olympics: A gymnastics novel to flip for!

Joey Jordan loves gymnastics: the thrill of performing a backflip on the beam, the cheers of the audience when she sticks a landing. But even with all her talent and style, she's never quite made it to that gold medal stand.

Now big changes shake up Joey's life in and out of the gym. Joey wants to break out some
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Off Balance by Dominique MoceanuLetters to a Young Gymnast by Nadia ComaneciWinning Balance by Shawn JohnsonGrace, Gold, and Glory by Gabrielle DouglasNadia by Nadia Comaneci
8th out of 44 books — 11 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenHigh in School by Salman AdityaThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Middle Grade Novels of 2012
300th out of 336 books — 618 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 471)
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Ms. Yingling
Joey Jordan spends the vast majority of her time practicing gymnastics, just like her older sister Julia did before she retired. Her best friend Trish has trained with her since they were tiny, but things are changing. Trish's ankle has been giving her trouble, and as the girls enter high school, Trish is more interested in boys than in practicing nonstop. Joey is interested in Tanner, with whom she had been friends and who has moved back to town. He is interested in her, but when he wants to wa ...more
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: Do you like gymnastics? Watch Make It Or Break It on ABCFamily? This book reminds me so much of Make It Or Break It, which I love.

We are introduced to Joey who is into gymnastics. She wants to follow in her older sister Julia’s footsteps. She wants to be as great as her, but not retire like her.

Joey wants to win the Gold. Not the Silver or the Bronze, but the Gold.

Joey spends all of her time training, she doesn’t have time for anything else. As she watches her friend Alex give up
Alyssa Durkin
I think this was a amazing book so please read it to it is the first gymnastics book that I have ever read so please read it it is one of the best
Joey Jordan has always known that gymnasts lead a different kind of life. If they are not totally committed to their sport, they will never be successful. This means endless hours of training both in the gym and outside of the gym; with the coach and without the coach. And it seems no social life - especially no dating. She and her best friend Alex, both about to turn 13, begin to question just how committed they want to be to the sport. Are all the injuries worth it? And all the yelling from he ...more
Kelly Hager
For pretty much her entire life, Joey Jordan has had one goal: win a gold medal in gymnastics. Her older sister, Julia, won the gold medal at Nationals a few years ago, and Joey is determined to follow in her footsteps and equally determined that this is her year. But there are problems: her best friend and squadmate, Alex, is thinking about leaving the sport and one of her childhood friends (Tanner) is now back in town and really, REALLY cute---and interested in her. And if there is one rule on ...more
Jackie Miller
I haven't read any MG for awhile now. This is another one I'll mark down as 'must read' for my girls when they are old enough. It's such a sweetly moving story of one girl's summer and how she basically matures and gains confidence in herself.

I found the content to bring back so many nostalgic memories of my own summers around this time of my life. Maybe not so much the gymnastics part of it in my case :) Your first crush, the nervous anticipation of seeing that someone...your first kiss. It was
Jillian Heise
Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

I really enjoyed Donna Freitas' first book, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD, and I expected a similar style of a fun, contemporary, romantic book with a teen girl coming into her own and finding her own strength in becoming confident in herself. GOLD MEDAL SUMMER met that expectation in a great middle grades story that is very timely with the summer Olympics coming up this summer. This book was a quick read because it is definitely written o
It always surprises me that there aren’t more gymnastics novels, or at least not more that I’ve been able to find. Granted, there’s a pretty narrow window in terms of the best time to promote them (say, once every four summers...), but even so—doesn’t gymnastics garner enough interest to warrant more books about it? It’s also unique in that female competitors are typically in their teenage years (don’t get me started on the very different standards for male and female gymnastics)—so, as far as t ...more
Tammy Walquist
Having just finished watching the impressive gymnasts competing in the London Olympics, I was more than a little excited to get my hands on this book. I've always admired them, and this book gave me insight into the sacrifices these girls have to make to get to such a high level of competition.

Joey Jordan has been training as a gynmast for most of her 14-year-old life. Unable to avoid getting psyched by her rivals, she feels she's living in the shadow of her older sister, Julia, who won the Nati
Cameron Daniels
This book ways a ticket into the life of a pre- teen girl, but not just any girl, this girl is a serious gymnast with a lot of decisions to make. I liked this book, because it felt very real, and I felt like I just jumped into the story and watched it all happen. It was like seeing a movie. I could feel the same emotions as the characters did, when I read about it. This is a great book for someone who likes to go beyond reading the book, someone who wants to be part of the book.
Nicole E
I really enjoyed the book Gold Medal Summer. The story is about a girl named Joey who is really competitive in gymnastics. through out the book, Joey practices some new routines and hopes she can do them perfectly so she can win a gold medal. I really liked how the author uses description to describe each event, and finding out what happens in the next chapter. I recommend this book to people who like gymnastics or any kind of sport.
Usually, I'm not a huge fan of gymnastics fiction and go more for biographies and nonfiction, but I actually enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the different characters all had some personality. I will admit I did find myself skimming parts that felt repetitive, which is why I couldn't give it more than 3 stars.

If you like gymnastics stories, you should try this book.
Joey loves to do gymnastics with her best friend Alex. But Alex feels like dropping out of gymnastics because of her broken ankle and Joey feels upset because Alex has always done gymnastics with Joey and the had dreams that they would be doing the beam together but Joey wouldn't let anybody crush her dreams of being a gymnastism and winning a gold medal. Joey is determined because she doesn't care what people say about her she really wants to win gold and and now that Alex isn't there to suppor ...more
I like to read the books my students and children are reading - just so I understand what they are interested in. I found this fascinating, as my daughter truly related to it. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of a character who is as dedicated to gymnastics as my daughter is - kind of like taking a peek into her mind. I think it will help prepare me for the emotions of the next few years as she continues onher quest for success at Nationals - we arenot there yet, but that is my daughters ...more
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this story. I listened to the audio version and thought it was the perfect combination of gymnastics, family, friendship, and first love. A great middle school read.
Cameron Marie
Best book ever!!!!!! I'm a gymnast and this is the most inspiring book I have ever read and probably will ever read.... So amazing and LOVE IT!! Gymnastics is my life!!!!
I love this book! I have read it so many times, and it never fails to appeal to me. I love how detailed the author makes the gymnastics events.
Maybe a 3 1/2 (and the book uses the old scoring system for gymnastics). I liked the idea of reading this close to the time of the Olympics. It seemed a bit cliched, although I really wish my urban students would look at life more like Joey. It was little hard for me to believe that Joey's parents would never go to her meets until the end, and I wondered if opponents really can heckle you as Sarah and Jennifer do in the book. I appreciate that the author is a former gymnast, and I don't think th ...more
Crosby Gustafson
LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Can read it over and pver again!!
a fantastic book, couldn't put it down
This is such an amazing book! You really should read this! I am not going to spoil it but make sure you read it! She is a gymnast,and her best friend quit. If you want to know more, READ THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!READ IT I TELL U!!!!!!!!!!!!!Gold Medal Summer
I loved this book so much. It gave me a huge view point from a gymnast's life, and I could not put the book down! (I even had to bring the book with me when I went out to dinner with my family!)It's a well paced book, with an adorable storyline, and I loved the diversity of each character. Each chapter had a sprinkle of laughs, a smile, and a little bit of romance. People who like genres that consist of romance, and sports (active and artistic like gymastics),I reccomend this wonderful book to y ...more
I Really liked this book. I would reamend this book to someone who likes gymnastics. Its about a girl who named Joey Jordan who loves gymnastics. She loves to come to the gym and workout! Her dream is to stand up on that podiam. I am just like her, we are both thirteen and in gymnastics. We both have a dream to stand on the first place podiam. She is tring really hard at practice so she will do good at the meets. Some charictors are Joey Jordan, Alex, and Tanner.
Sep 16, 2012 Bonnie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
A good read following up this summer's Olympics. Middle graders (and some older) will like the drama and the inside look at a competitive gymnast's life. Freitas glosses over some of the uglier realities that I imagine are also a factor in the sport--food is rarely mentioned and weight/body image is never brought up, neither is managing school within their intense training schedule. It makes for a cleaner story, but a less realistic, more glamorized portrayal of elite gymnastics.
Anastasia Tuckness
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Great depiction of a teen and her friends, sister, family, gymnastics, and a new boy (who's an old friend). As much as I can imagine what it would be like to be an excellent competitive gymnast balancing that with school and friends, I think this book is spot on.

(The author's books are a fascinating mix of realistic fiction, dystopia, and academic treatises about religion. Was surprised to see this.)
The story, Gold Medal Summer, speaks honestly to female athletes of any discipline. The message of hard work mixed with the temptations of crushes and competition will be fascinating to young girls. This realistic story portrays the main character Joey so skillfully, you cheer for her through her failures and triumphs. Gold Medal Summer will not stay on your library shelf!
This is exactly the cute little piece of fluff that it looks like, but it is fairly well-done fluff. My main quibble: I didn't buy that the character was only 13-going-on-14; she felt older than that to me. *shrug* I liked the gymnastics stuff, and the too-perfect boy (of course there's a boy!).
I couldn't even get through the first chapter, and only because I had no interest in this book. I was just trying to read a new book to see if it's worth putting in as a suggested read for my library...but it was not happening. On to the next one....
Great read for reluctant readers--story moves quickly and the gymnastic talk is enough to be interesting but not too much for the average reader to get bogged down while reading Joey's story.

Recommend this read for an Olympic enthusiast this summer.
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Donna was born in Rhode Island and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.

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More about Donna Freitas...
The Survival Kit The Possibilities of Sainthood This Gorgeous Game The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

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