High flyers by Laura Sieveking
The Royal Academy of Sports series. Random House, 2017. ISBN
(Age: 8-11) Recommended. Themes: Gymnastics, School Life, Friendship. Abigail Rogers is a passionate young gymnast who trains hard and loves to improve on her skills. Her dream is to win a place at The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls. This elite school trains potential champions; here the focus is on both academics and sports with training from top-level coaches in specialist facilities. For Abby to win a place at the academy, she has to perform well in all areas of a special competition. Even with a small slip on landing her floor routine, Abby's excitement is hard to contain when she is chosen for a place at the academy.
With new friends, Mae, Evie and Anwen, the girls step straight into training in the world-class gym with Coach Ana pushing them to achieve their best. Training is hard and each girl is challenged to succeed. Of course, there are rivalries and jealousies with Bella Brunetti trying to sabotage Abby's routines. With Scarlet Belyakov's creative schemes to help the girls find food, life at the academy is exciting. When the friends decide to train harder and include more difficult components in their events, things do not go to plan.
Laura Sieveking understands the realities of competing, the feelings and thought processes of the individual components of the gymnast's routines. The reader gains insight into Abby's reality when the story is told from her point of view. Friendship, school life, sport and athleticism, resilience and persistence are celebrated in this first novel in The Royal Academy of Sports series. These novels are just right for preteen girls who love sporting tales.