Review Blog

Oct 08 2012

The games: The extraordinary history of the modern Olympics by Carole Wilkinson

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Black Dog Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 742032 22 1
(Ages 10+) Recommended. Non fiction. Olympic games. History. Nine fascinating and informative chapters give the reader a potted history of the Olympic Games, and introduction breezily outlining the beginning of the modern games. Each chapter looks at three Olympics in turn, with an introductory fact file showing the number of participating countries, the number of male and female athletes involved, the number of sports played and the medal tally. The chapter goes on to target the most interesting occurrences during the games in that particular year, outline fascinating events and characters and target athletes who have made a difference.
Wilkinson's always lucid style of writing invites the reader to read for the sake of reading about the Olympics, rather than use this as a research tool, but either is appropriate. The detailed index makes this a good research tool for the library and classroom, and the open chatty style makes it most accessible to any reader.
At each Olympics, events from the past are alluded to by the journalists searching for something new and interesting to say or write, the storming of the Jewish athletes at the Munich Games, Jessie Owens' achievements at the Berlin Games, the breathing problems at the Mexico City Games, all these are given an airing in this book, making it a formidable companion read for all those people fascinated by the games themselves, the athletes in particular and just lovers of all sport.
And for those groups of boys who frequent the library at lunchtimes or keep their heads stuck in the Guinness Books of Records, this is another book from which to gain things to add to their pile of interesting facts.
Fran Knight

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