Four girls whose family lives are difficult compete in gymnastics for their gym, Flip City, the place they feel most at home.
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Grade 6-8 Flip City is the training home for four aspiring gymnasts who are dealing with typical teenage problems involving weight, parents, and boys in addition to gymnastic concerns dealing with injury, fear, and jealousy. The focus switches from girl to girl, thus presenting the main weakness of this storytoo many problems and too many characters. Scenes shift abruptly, with some major confrontations played out all too quickly and resolved too easily; other issues, however, such as fear of puberty and maturing, are mentioned but not dealt with later. Hermann's familiarity with gymnastics comes through in this first novel, but readers looking for a cohesive plot and sports action may be mired in the subplots of melodrama, including a mother's rough pregnancy, brothers' athletic futures, and a tragic accident. Gymnastic fans may wish to try Frank Bonham's The Rascals from Haskell's Gym (Dutton, 1977; o.p.) or Nancy Meltzoff's A Sense of Balance (Westminster, 1978). Neither title is perfect, but both offer a better integration of sport with storyline. A glossary of gymnastic terms is appended. Susan Schuller, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Centering a story for middle-grade girls around gymnastics is a good ideaso good, in fact, that Elizabeth Levy has written a series of books called The Gymnasts. In this story, Hermann begins with a setting ripe with dramatic possibilities and protagonists with potentially interesting problems, but falters in the telling of what could have been an absorbing tale. The book follows five months in the lives of four early-teenage girlsa striving Vietnamese, a rich WASP with family problems, a driven Italian-American and a "girl next door" laboring in her brothers' shadowswhose energies center around Flip City, their suburban Connecticut gym. Although the author is earnest, and seems familiar with amateur gymnastics (a glossary is included for readers who aren't), she does a lackluster job of conveying the thrill and sweat of the sport. The plot is not terribly affecting, with highs and lows ineptly orchestrated, and the characterizations sketchy and stereotypical. All in all, a missed opportunity. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Orchard Books. LIBRARY BINDING. Book Condition: Very Good. 0531083853 Very Good Condition. Five star seller - Buy with confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # Z0531083853Z2
Book Description Orchard Books, 1988. Library Binding. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0531083853
Book Description Orchard Books, 1988. Library Binding. Book Condition: Acceptable. STAINS. Foxing on the edges of the book, especially on the top edge. Small stain along the edge of the last few pages - does not affect text. Library binding. Dust jacket is corner clipped and in mylar. Flawed but very readable copy. Booksavers receives donated books and recycles them in a variety of ways. Proceeds benefit the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in the U.S. and around the world. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000209712