PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Olympics

Book Review: Infinite Blue

Infinite Blue – Darren Groth and Simon Groth – Orca Book Publishers – Published 11 September 2018

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Synopsis

Ashley Drummond is an elite swimmer. Clayton Sandalford is a talented artist. From the  moment of their first meeting, they were destined to be together.

Staying together, however, will test the limits of their love. A world-record swim, and the strange vision that accompanies it, raises questions about the couple’s connection.

Then a life-altering incident triggers a mystical change, which will demand that both of them let go in ways never imagined.

My thoughts

Just like its cover, Infinite Blue is beautiful, ethereal and just a little bit magic. Mixing fantasy with realism, Infinite Blue is an epic love story about accepting your destiny and letting go.

The day Ashley and Clayton meet seems fated. Ashley appears almost out of nowhere to save Clayton’s life. As Ashley’s swimming career progresses to new heights, Clayton is her steadfast support. Yet as they face the challenges of time and distance they promise each other forever. Yet, neither could predict the impact that a terrible accident will have or the ways in which they will both have to let go.

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Book Review: Just Let Go

Just Let Go – Courtney Walsh – Harbor Pointe #2 – Tyndale – Published 5 June 2018

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Synopsis

For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.

Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out–and the best way to avoid more negative press.

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town–and Quinn’s life–possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

My thoughts

Just Let Go is as delightful as its gorgeous cover; a beautiful story of redemption, forgiveness, and starting over, of learning to work for your dreams and learning when to let go.

Grady is a professional skier, Olympian, and, according to the world, a wash-up bound for forced retirement. A self-imposed road trip leads Grady to Harbor Pointe, where a judgmental comment leads to a fist-fight, which leads to Grady being sentenced to weeks of community service and being stuck in the infuriatingly small town. As soon as she sets eyes on Grady Benson, Quinn Collins knows he is bad news. They come from different worlds – while he was off living the high life and has no qualms putting holes in the walls of diners, she has lived her whole life in Harbor Pointe, working towards her dream of owning her own flower shop, creating the best design for the upcoming Winter Carnival, and entering her designs into the Floral Expo. She is on the verge of realising that dream and the last thing she needs is to babysit the egotistical skier for the duration of his community service. But there is more to Grady than is reported in the tabloids, and Quinn is holding onto her own hurts. Can the two learn to work together?

Just Let Go was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it was everything I expected it to be. After reading Just Look Up and loving it, I was excited to read this second novel in the Harbor Pointe series. Each of the two books can be read as standalones, with complete story lines, a few character crossovers, and the same delightful, small-town setting. Just Let Go is a complicated and layered story of relationships, dreams, and the faith needed to overcome the hurts of the past.

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Book Review: Coming Up For Air

Coming Up For Air – Miranda Kenneally – Hundred Oaks – Sourcebooks Fire – Published 4 July 2017

♥♥♥♥

 

 

Synopsis

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

My thoughts

I fondly remember reading Catching Jordan – my first book by Miranda Kenneally. Since then I have greatly enjoyed her Hundred Oaks series. Coming Up for Air brings us almost full circle, once again providing a best-friends romance set against elite sport and coming of age issues.

Maggie’s life revolves around swimming. It has to if she wants to make it to an Olympics trial this year. Fortunately she has friends who are also athletes and understand that training comes first. Her best friend Levi is also a swimmer and they spend most of their time together, training, eating, and training some more. But a trip to her chosen college leaves Maggie feeling a little behind in the social department. Determined to stay focused on swimming and beating her rival, but also wanting to experiment a little she asks Levi for some guidance. But neither she nor Levi are prepared for the change it sparks in their relationship.

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Activity: Library Olympic Games

Library Olympic Games – Library Activities

Olympic Book Rings

This is the second part in my Library Olympics prep – my display ideas can be found under Display: Olympic Games.

This library challenge is designed  so that students can engage in a competitive but inclusive challenge to inspire them to read more, read with their friends and use books to help them complete fun tasks.

Students can complete any or all tasks individually or in teams. They will earn points for their class group or school house team.

World FlagsChallenge 1: Flag design

Design your own flag. It can be a personal flag or make a team and share the design. We will display the flags with the other countries’ flags bunting, from Mr Printables.

Challenge 2: Paper plane making and flying competition

Create the most aerodynamic or the most fantastic looking paper plane. Create a paper plane that can fly the highest or do the most loops. We will test the planes during lunchtime outside the front of the library.

Challenge 3: Origami making

Using the library’s origami books, create an origami piece to add to our display. Can you create one that is sports themed?

Olympics PictogramsChallenge 4: Pictogram design

Design a new set of Olympic Pictograms for reading in a variety of exciting ways. Reading while lying on the beach, reading while surfing, or maybe reading while riding a horse???

Challenge 5: Reading Challenge

This event is based on the Olympic Reading Challenge found on Mrs Mac’s Library. 

Artistic Gymnastics: Read 3 Picture Books

100m Sprint: Read a short story (or book from the Easy Reads collection)

Marathon: Read for 30mins straight

Triathlon: Read 3 books by 3 different authors

Weightlifiting: Read a book of more than 200 pages

Relay: You and a friend read the same book.

Equestrian: Read a book about animals, fiction or non-fiction.

Display: Olympic Games

Olympic Games Display

Olympic RingsI fashioned these Olympic rings from book covers. It takes a few minutes for the students to recognise the symbol, but it’s a colourful way to connect reading with current events.

Olympic Book Rings

I fashioned the rings by copying these Olympic rings from Classical Book Worm. It wasn’t until I finished my rings and checked back with the original design that I realised I had put the book covers vertically rather than top to tail. As one student said, it looks better from a distance…

olympicsborderI used lettering from Instant Display, which also has a great collection of printable posters and borders.

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