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.