Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review: Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics by Sue Macy

The last time I was in the school library, I heard all about their Book Buzz program where publishers send books for the schools to keep provided that someone writes up a short review which is then published and forwarded to all the librarians in the system. And being me, I immediately thought, I could do that for the school. So I popped back to the shelves dedicated to these books and happily collected a stack. But I have been completely remiss in reading them so when I saw that my children had pulled this one out of *my* shelves and read it themselves, as well as realized that this year's Winter Olympics is nigh upon us, I decided it was time to get cracking and read this one in time for it to be processed and hit the shelves in a timely manner.

And really, it's a wonderful book for middle schoolers. It has fewer pictures than I expected given the subtitle but it has thorough and interesting summaries about the origins of the Winter Games, big names from past Olympics, what sports are included, the challenges inherent in a large scale competition dependent in so many ways upon the weather, the controversies that have dogged the competitions, etc. The information is never overwhelming and is always clearly and evenly presented. The focus is certainly US-centric, especially when Macy starts discussing the most recent Games, but there are other countries' athletes included as well. The photography is vivid and sharp. The pictures from the early Games were most interesting for me since I knew so much less about the athletes and even the sports gear from then but all the pictures are good and contribute to make this a well-presented, knowledgeable look at a modern event. This is definitely a good one to read and enjoy in the run up to the opening ceremonies next month.


  1. Tell us more about the Book Buzz program?

  2. I wish I could! That brief synopsis was essentially what the middle school librarian told me. I don't know if the program is nationwide or only within our district or somewhere in between the two. As far as I understand it, the books are supplied to the district office and are available to any of the schools in the district if they can write the reviews. Usually the media specialist is the one trying to read the books and write the reviews on top of all her other duties so she was thrilled to find out that there were a couple of us who were willing to take on a portion of the task for her. I think I have about 7 more to read and review at some point.

  3. I cannot wait for the Olympics. I've loved the Olympics since we did a unit on them in Grade 4, so I have such a fondness for middle grade Olympic books. I can't wait to get my hands on this one, but it's always out of our library!


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