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Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  399 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. But as readers will see in this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia’s journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to wor ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Abigail
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Gymnasts / Readers Looking for Engaging Picture-Book Sports Biographies
Growing up in the small Romanian town of Onești, Nadia Comaneci could not sit still. Always active, always full of energy, she was a handful. Then her mother enrolled her in gymnastics classes, and the rest (as they say) is history. The first Olympic gymnast to win a perfect 10, in the 1976 Montreal games, Comeneci became a sporting icon.

As a child in the United States, I was very much aware of Nadia Comaneci and her story, having watched a made-for-tv biographical film about her as a girl. It w
...more
Jenny
An interesting biography about the famous gymnast Nadia Comaneci. Fun and lively illustrations accompany the text that shows Nadia's determination to improve and her impressive seven perfect scores in the 1976 Olympic Games. I was left wanting more.

There could be plenty of curriculum tie-ins/collaborative conversations about this book.
*perseverance/determination
*overcoming adversity
*turning a weakness into a strength
*her defection from Romania/communism and the history of her homeland
Dolly
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I've had lots of opportunities to visit our local libraries lately, and I've been reading quite a few picture books, especially ones about women, since it's Women's History Month. I saw this book displayed and knew I just had to read it.

I must admit that I learned quite a bit about Nadia Comaneci from reading this picture book, even though I was fairly aware of her career in gymnastics. I was five years old when the Montreal Olympics were held and I am pretty sure that our family watched them.

I
...more
Lynn
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nice picture book about Nadia Comăneci whom I remember when I was a kid, winning perfect 10s at the Olympics. Her did describe her as a child who had trouble sitting still. She becomes a young member of the Romanian Olympic team and an Olympic star at 14. A very nice book, especially with many young girls interested in gymnastics right now. Nice memories for me!
Maria
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a great book to introduce kids to the wonderful Nadia! It has a good written story with cues that can launch discussions (such as the inclusion of the competition when we see Nadia failing but going forward nonetheless). The illustrations are clean and good in suggesting movement. The text has a nice flow and can keep you engaged.
Renee
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A picture book bio of Nadia Comaneci, a young Romanian gymnast, who was the first ever Olympian to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics.

I think this will appeal to young readers because:
- it shows how she took her weakness (not being able to stay still) and made it her strength
- it shows when she failed miserably but did not give up
- good sportsmanship
- the buzz about gymnastics from this year's Olympics

Further areas for teachers/students to explore:
- the concept of defecting from a count
...more
paula
I hope everyone is buckled in for the Year of Simone Biles - but in the meantime, let's celebrate the first gymnastics superstar: Nadia Comeneci, who in 1976 earned the first ever perfect scores at the Montreal Olympics. She was everywhere - on every magazine cover, in the toy stores, Robin Williams did an impression of her, heck they even changed the name of the theme to The Young and the Restless to "Nadia's Theme". That piano! Those swelling strings! She was like a tiny steel toy that wound u ...more
Kirsten Edwards
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this review with photos of the book and its contents here:
https://readersforlife.blog/2018/05/1...

IMG_2064

Nadia Comaneci stunned the world at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games when she scored seven perfect tens in gymnastics. Not only was she the first gymnast to ever score a perfect ten, she was also the youngest gold medalist in gymnastics at only 14 years old.

Her incredible feats at the Olympic Games made her world famous. She returned home to Romania (at the time under Soviet Communist rule) to b
...more
Alana/MiaTheReader
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My kids and I have read this book over and over since getting it from the library and we all love it. Gray's succinct yet descriptive and exciting writing is perfect for telling this story to young audiences and Davenier's whimsical illustrations put life and movement into the words on the page. Being a former gymnastics coach, I enthusiastically showed three of my children (ages 4, 7, 9) the videos of Comaneci's perfect 10s in Montreal after reading the book, and even now with the heightened di ...more
Alicia Brommer
Narrative:
Just by looking at the title, what do you think this book might be about? (Have the rest of the book covered by paper with just the title showing.) Let's take a look at the whole cover. Now what do you think? Does the picture change your idea? Have you ever gotten in trouble for not being able to sit still? (Students give answers.) Well, the title of the book tells us that Nadia has hard time with that, too. Let's see what happens to her.

Opening Moves:
*Prompt predictions based on the t
...more
Ashley Marx
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading "Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still, I quickly knew that I have found a new favorite. When I was younger, I was a gymnast and always wanted to find books about gymnastics. However, I found that there were a few books about this topic. After finding this book, I wish I would have discovered it when I was little. Another aspect of this book that I liked is that even though Nadia fell at the Junior Championship games, she continued to practice.
FM Family
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was great. And my 2.5 year old loves it, even though she's never shown any real interest in gymnastics. We read it every night for a week and then looked up Nadia's routines on youtube. Great story of a kid doing something out of the ordinary and persevering through some challenges as she first learned how to do gymnastics. Nadia as a lovable kid full of energy and pragmatism really jumped off the pages
Emily Bruns
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nadia is the inspiring, true story of a girl who learned to use her energy to become a successful gymnast. The story encourages young girls to pursue their passions. It also emphasizes the importance of pushing past failure and continuing to work hard toward goals.

This is could be used as a research source in the the primary and early intermediate grades. It could also be used for read alone time for the same ages.
Ellen
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this picture book biography about the famous gymnast Nadia Comaneci. I enjoyed the history and the fun way the author made the gymnast more relatable to young readers. I would definitely add this to my biography read alouds, especially during the Olympics or during gymnast events that are televised.
Nadia
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-240
This book is about the famous gymnast Nadia Comaneci and her triump, resulting in her winning 7 gold medals in the Olympics. Nadia is a great role model and her story can inspire young girls to follow their dreams and to work hard at what they love in life. The illustrations are simple yet great at setting the mood for the story- inspirational and motivational.
December SIrmans
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book for children. Even though kids often have a lot of energy the book showed that you can make lots of use of that energy like how Nadia became a really good gymnast out of it.
Ian McHugh
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another lovely book for young girls and boys. The story of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. I love the illustrations here and the simple tale of perseverance and practice. I also love that failure is portrayed as an integral part of the story. A timely reminder to youngsters that ‘perfection’ doesn’t come easily.
Kevin
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an autobiography that I think would work well for 2nd or 3rd grade. An interesting feature of this book is the use of an ADHD character in literature. Nadia is a great role model for many children!
Jennifer
Fun illustrations and super simple biography of Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to earn a perfect 10 in an Olympic event. This is too much for my preschoolers, but would be a fun book to use to talk about perseverance and bravery with elementary age kids.
Kaylynn Johnsen
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid
I remember watching Nadia at the Olympics. It didn't matter where she was from we were all rooting for her. The first perfect 10, the second! It was an amazing time in history. This picture book will bring back memories for the parents and introduce the kids to a remarkable athlete.
Jaelynn Horton
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Biography. I loved how this book depicted Nadia simply as a girl who couldn't sit still. It humanized and normalized her. I also loved how this book depicted Nadia's successes and failures. It inspired me to go and watch the perfect 10 routine. She was good!
Beth
A lovely picture book biography about Nadia Comaneci, the first woman to get a perfect 10 at the Olympics in gymnastics.
Leila
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I remember hearing her name when I was younger, but reading this book was informative and I loved learning about her tenacity and perseverance.
Mia Bell
I loved this book. I enjoyed this book so much because it relates to me and my life a lot. My mom put me into gymnastics for the exact reason Nadia was, and I ended up loving it. I was a gymnast and a cheerleader from that point on. It also represents to young children to go after what you love and dream of. Children would enjoy this book a lot in my opinion, and they would enjoy the pictures too.
Jordan Roy
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not a part of my GoodReads entry but had to read! A fantastic book!
Maureen Tully
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good information and great illustrations; helpful timeline at the end includes more details.
Heather
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for teaching growth mindset
Tanya
Mar 26, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018, picture-book
Loved the illustrations and the dialog. Great book to introduce young kids to this Olympic athlete.
emyrose8
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story behind one of the world’s most famous gymnasts. Don’t miss the afterward that tells more about her later life!
December Sirmans
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book for children. Even though kids often have a lot of energy the book showed that you can make lots of use of that energy like how Nadia became a really good gymnast out of it.
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Karlin Gray grew up as a Navy “brat”—moving every year or two. After living in ten houses and attending eight schools, Karlin moved again to Florida (where she worked on her B.A. in Creative Writing at Florida State University), Virginia (where she worked for newspaper publishers), New York (where she worked for book publishers), and Connecticut (where she works now as a mom and picture-book write ...more

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