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Book Review – Courage to Soar by Simone Biles

December 24, 2016

Although not a gymnastic fan, I heard of Simone Biles as she led the US Women’s Olympic gymnastic team to the team gold and won all round individual gold at the Rio Olympics. The little bit I heard about her story sounded interesting and so when I was offered a chance to review her new autobiography Courage to Soar, I chose to broaden my horizons. I am glad I did as this was an enjoyable book to read.

Soon to be 20 years old (March 2017), Biles reflection on her life, specifically the circumstances surrounding her adoption by her maternal grandparents, is thoughtful and encouragingly honest and realistic. There is evidence she has processed multiple personal challenges, as well as life-as-a-teen-athlete pressures, thoughtfully and well. She does so by sharing honestly about the struggles and with graciousness to the individuals involved. For someone fairly young to be able to reflect on various situations and express them (even with the help of New York Times bestselling author Michelle Burford’s help) is impressive.

The recounting of various events, whether gymnastics related, school-choice related, or faith related, at times seems to be overly detailed, though each account relates to a significant aspect of her growth as a gymnast and as a young woman, so it is not without purpose.

If you have a teenage daughter, especially one interested in gymnastics, I would recommend the book as a gift. There is much to be emulated in the way Biles’ works through various issues emerging in a young woman’s life.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers.

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