Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith

Gabrielle Douglas with Michelle Burford. Zondervan, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-310-74061-2
An effervescent first-person account of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Douglas's life from birth to the Olympics written in collaboration with Burford, this book will capture the attention of sports enthusiasts and Douglas's admirers. Gabrielle "Brie" emerges as an exuberant young woman with a sense of humor. Of her start in gymnastics, Brie suggests her mother was willing to enroll her and three siblings in class because her mother "needed a long nap." Her confidence, focus, and determination come through in every sentence. On occasion poetic descriptions obtrude ("glistening flakes fell from the heavens") on usually colloquial prose ("Lol"). Douglas mentions the lows—her family lived in their van for months when she was an infant—and bullying, but never dwells on them. The story gives readers a feel for the mind of a champion—quick, determined, hard-working to the max, with the ego to withstand unstinting self-evaluation and criticism, always in the service of achieving her next goal. Supported by her mother and siblings, and by her strong faith in God, she sees herself as capable of achieving greatness "because God has equipped me with all I need to succeed." Overall, the book delivers. Poster included. Ages 8-up. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 11/01/2012
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