Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance
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Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance

Zondervan / 2016 / Hardcover

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Simone Biles' entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her into one of the top gymnasts in the world-as well as a strong contender for the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. In her own words, Simone recounts the events, challenges, and trials that have carried her from an early childhood in foster care to a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team. Along that path, Simone has garnered fourteen world medals, ten of them gold. Therefore she has the most World Championship gold medals of any female gymnast, and she is the most decorated U.S. female gymnast in World Championship history. Through years of hard work and determination, Simone has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive, while having fun competing at the highest level and doing what she loves. For the first time, Simone shares her inspiring personal story-one filled with daily acts of courage and unlikely dreams.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9.0 X 6.0 (inches)
ISBN: 0310759668
ISBN-13: 9780310759669

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Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author Simone Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time World all-around gymnastics champion. In 2015 at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, she became the only female gymnast to ever win three consecutive all-around titles. She is also the most decorated American female gymnast, with a total of nineteen medals, fourteen of them gold. Simone, who was born in Ohio and later adopted by her grandparents in Texas, began her training at age 6. During a serendipitous day care field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, a coach recognized Simone’s natural talent and sent home a letter to her parents, requesting that they enroll her in a class. Simone rose quickly through the sport’s levels, and in 2011, she began her junior elite career at the American Classics in Huntsville, Texas, where she placed third all-around. Amid a few setbacks in the following two seasons, Simone rebounded in 2013 to claim the first of her three all-around World Championship titles. With her strong faith in God and her triumph against the odds, Simone is inspiring millions to dream big and follow their hearts.

Michelle Burford is a #1 New York Times bestselling collaborative writer and a founding editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Harvard-trained journalist whose work has taken her to more than 35 countries on six continents. A native of Phoenix, Michelle now resides in New York City. Visit her online at www.MichelleBurford.com

 

Editorial Reviews

Nineteen-year-old Biles, Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated U.S. gymnast of all time, takes readers along her journey to the podium in this memoir. After spending her early childhood in and out of foster care, Biles was adopted by her biological grandparents. She began her gymnastics training at the age of six after a field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, where the coaches quickly discovered that she “had what it took to go all the way.” Biles describes not only her gymnastics training and career but also her personal life, including her grandmother’s death, the difficult decisions she made in order to balance school and gymnastics, her “bratty period” in her early teens, and her love for her car, with its zebra-print interior. In recent years, Biles has won three consecutive world championship titles followed by her team gold and individual wins at the 2016 Olympics. Biles’s narration is effervescent, showing her to be, as her brother says, “a goofy and down-to-earth kid.” The tone is conversational and includes casual phrases such as “if you can’t already tell” and “just kidding.” She expresses appreciation for her family, friends, teammates, and coaches and frequently credits God and her faith for her success. One slight caveat: readers without background knowledge about gymnastics may not find the terminology to be adequately explained. VERDICT Essential for libraries serving tween and teen gymnastics fans.–Magdalena Teske, Naperville Public Library, IL
Who can forget the radiant smile and inexhaustible energy of four-feet-eight, 19-year-old Simone Biles, Olympian gymnast? This inspiring and humorous memoir details how Simone, with the help and support of her family, coaches, faith, and friends, succeeded in winning five Olympic medals in 2016, four gold and a bronze. After a brief time in foster care, Simone was six when she and her younger sister were adopted by her grandparents (whom she refers to as her mom and dad). Flipping on the family trampoline and an unexpected daycare trip to the local tumbling gym sparked her love of gymnastics. Despite her rookie success, she missed being selected for the USA women’s junior team by one spot and was too young to compete in the 2012 Olympics. But success was in her future, due in part to her incredible support system---her parents even built their own gym. Simone is admirable, but it’s the unwavering support of her family and coaches that will make a lasting impact on readers. -Sharon Rawlins

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
(2)
(1)
(1)
(0)
(0)
Quality:
2.3 out Of 5
(2.3 out of 5)
Value:
2 out Of 5
(2 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
1.8 out Of 5
(1.8 out of 5)
100%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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Displaying items 1-4 of 4
Page 1 of 1
  1. beckie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Symone Biles
    March 24, 2017
    beckie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    "Courage to Soar" is the autobiography of Simone Biles, multi gold medal winner at the 2016 Olympics in gymnastics. Symone starts at a baby and goes through to present day. She covers memories, her life as a foster child and then adopted. She also tells of her love for gymnastics and her adventures, struggles, and achievements. Of course since, she is so young the book is rather short and a quick read. You could probably read it in a day if you wanted to. It is very enjoyable. She is a good writer and keeps the reader interested. Keep in mind, she is a gymnast and gymnastics is in this book a lot. She loooooves gymnastics! Which is great for the typical reader of this book, who probably does too. If you grabbed it randomly and don't care for sports, you should probably pick another. I, myself thought it was great. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com.
  2. jsrn18
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Keep soaring!
    January 15, 2017
    jsrn18
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Really loved hearing Simone's story from her point of view. It is a well written book that outlines the good, bad, and ugly of her life to date.
  3. Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Courage to Soar
    January 4, 2017
    Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford, is the remarkable story of Simone Biles. It is not only the story of going from a child in foster care to a gold medalist in the Olympics, but also the story of exactly how that happened.

    Simone was born in Columbus, Ohio, but went to live with her grandparents in Texas shortly after ending up in foster care. They enrolled her in a gymnastics class shortly after, and the rest is history. She tells the story from the beginning to the victory in Rio de Janeiro, complete with all of her fears and struggles as she worked her way to the top.

    This was an amazing book. I very much enjoyed reading Simones story. It was filled with her personality and love for life, family, and gymnastics. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys gymnastics, friends, and family.

    Kara

    I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

  4. Kara Lynn
    WV
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not The Most Inspiring Read Unless A Fan of Her Sport or Her Strength
    December 29, 2016
    Kara Lynn
    WV
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Let me be honest - in the 2016 Olympics I wanted to watch the swimming and diving more then I wanted to see the gymnastics. I'm just not a huge fan of the sport so I didn't see Simone soar through the competitions before the Olympics or during.

    But my sister Korin did.

    I knew she'd appreciate reading Simon's story, so I chose the book and here I am - doing the review. So this is an unbiased review as can be since I wasn't a fan before haha.

    The question I had when awaiting for the arrival of this book was: Is it inspiring? And what will we learn about Miss Biles behind the beautiful smile and strength we see on TV?

    In Courage to Soar we begin with Simone as a young girl as she reminisces about her mother and how Simone and her siblings are later placed in foster homes. Her grandparents later become her parents and soon after while still very young, she begins to preform in tumbling and gymnastics. Simone also gives us the rundown on her first car at sixteen (with long awaited zebra print interior), her love for the Cheetah Girls and all those fun facts.

    One thing I really felt lacking was the spiritual content. Simone is Catholic so we learn about her Patron Saint, briefly hear about her going to church and praying but there weren't any skeletons in the closet. The focus of the book isn't spiritual but more physical and the journey to the 2016 Olympics.

    I think the book didn't resonate with me since I don't prefer the sport, but I think it will for many fans of Miss Biles, what she does, and for all those who saw her soar over the summer. To them, it truly may be inspiring.

    I got this book free from Booklook and Zondervan in exchange for my unbiased review
Displaying items 1-4 of 4
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