Gr 3-5–This series has potential interest for use around the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it disappoints. The authors dryly recite facts as though writing for an almanac even though they are covering topics that could have inspired exciting narratives. Most of the color photographs are run of the mill and are shot at a mid-range distance, meaning that the skiers all look the same. Some fact boxes, such as the one about women hockey players, are on the wrong page. Other missed opportunities abound. For example, the two brief sentences in Paralympic Sports about how visually impaired biathletes shoot at targets that make electronic sounds will leave readers wanting more. Similar information is readily available elsewhere.
- Summer Whiting
Let the games begin! The Paralympic Games is a series of sporting events that allows athletes who have physical disabilities to compete against one another. How did the Paralympic Games get its name? "Para" means alongside, and these games always occur in the same year as the Olympic Games. You will find many of the same sports, too: alpine skiing, downhill skiing, slalom racing, and short-distance biathlon. They are all there! Each page includes a brief description of the sport, previous winners, and a "Did You Know?" box that highlights an important fact. There is a brief guide to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games located in the back of the book. Readers will also have access to a glossary, an index, and a list of websites that offer more information about the games. This is sure to draw in reluctant readers, especially those who are interested in sports. Girls will be delighted to see how many female athletes have taken home the gold. The timing is perfect as it coincides with the upcoming games. Reviewer: Summer Whiting