Entertaining Look at Early Olympics
Allport, Brandy Hilboldt, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport
A PASSION FOR VICTORY
Author: Benson Bobrick
Data: Borzoi Book (Knopf), 143 pages, $19.99; ages 9 and older
If the hoopla in London attracted your child's attention, check out a new book to build on that enthusiasm. In "A Passion for Victory," Benson Bobrick presents foibles, fantastic moments and facts about the Olympics.
Bobrick concentrates on the eras between 776 B.C. and 1948, just after World War II, when the current Olympic program was formalized. Readers learn about Coroebus, a cook from a town called Ellis. He won the first event, a 200-yard footrace, which was set up in a meadow beside the Alpheus River in Olympia. They also learn about the sportsmanship, national pride and international politics that contribute to the drama of the Olympics. This well-written narrative combines trivia and history in equal parts to create a seamless fun-to-read account.
Another branch: Look for the latest installment in Louise Erdrich's Birchbark House Series, which chronicles the story of one Ojibwe family's story through 100 years of American history. It arrives in stores, Tuesday, Aug. 21. "Chickadee" is the eponymous tale of a boy and his twin brother, Makoons. The boys have never been apart, and when Chickadee disappears, his family sets out to save him. They must cross unfamiliar terrain and adapt the way they build shelter and gather food as they seek their beloved boy. The warm, well-written story is as informative as it is entertaining. The 208-page book is published by HarperCollins and costs $16.99. Like the previous three books in the series, "Chickadee" is based on the author's family history.
Another tale for the fans: Judy, Judy, Judy. Judy Moody. Fun begins as her name trips off the tongue, which explains why she and her brother, Stink, are favorite characters of children who so proudly refer to themselves as "chapter book readers. …