Review Blog

Aug 31 2017

Making the grade by Cate Shearwater

cover image

Somersaults and Dreams bk 1. Egmont, 2015. ISBN 9781405268783
(Age: 9-12) Gymnastics. School life. Friends. Family. Thirteen-year-old gymnast Ellie happily lives in Cornwall with her ship-builder father, artist mother and younger sister Lucy. Her dream however is to be an Olympic gymnast like her aunt. With help from Fran, her local coach, Ellie wins a scholarship to the prestigious London Gymnastics Academy. Ellie boards at Head-Over-Heels House with the other out-of-town gymnasts. Twins Nancy, Tam, and their mother Mandy, who looks after the house, make Ellie feel welcome and help her settle in.
Ellie faces many challenges, she worries about her own gymnastics skill levels and she hasn't taken her Grade 2 compulsory exam. Queen bee Scarlett, another team member, delights in commenting on Ellie's abilities, and she bullies her relentlessly. While Ellie is at the Academy she searches for the truth about her Aunt Lizzie who fell from the beam at the Olympics. This stopped the British team from winning the gold medal and ended her sporting career.
Emma their coach is there to support and encourage the team to strive for their best. 'Gymnastics will teach you discipline and teamwork. It will give you courage and self-belief.' Ellie loves the academy, developing her skills on the floor, balance beam and other equipment. Surrounded by her friends, she loves the business of school, sharing the house with her friends and finding time for socialising.
When Ellie brings Tam and Nancy to her home in Cornwall, she introduces them to boating activities, boat races and family fun. Cate Shearwater's Making the grade focuses on finding your secret ingredient, your life-balance with your training and dedication. This is the first in the Somersaults and dreams series is a great read for girls from 9-12 years of age.
Rhyllis Bignell

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017
CBCA Awards 2017 winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates