While I am absolutely for children being active and enjoying (team) sports I am always a bit hesitant about the competitive side of it. It can be tricky to find the balance between doing your best, building friendships and trying to reach your potential and wanting to be better than everyone else which can lead to jealousy. This great kids novel by Julia Lawrinson covers this topic in a very enjoyable, easy-to-understand way, it’s a great story with a valuable lesson:
For as long as she remembers Chelsea has loved gymnastics. She pushes herself to the absolute maximum during her training sessions at the Club, determined to earn a spot in the Nationals team and eventually even the Olympics. Of course she is not the only girl with big dreams so she’ll have to come out on top to be selected. When talented newcomer Telia joins the club Chelsea sees her chances diminishing and slowly her joy and happiness make place for jealousy, envy and bitterness.
Chelsea is so focussed on her goal and practising so often that she doesn’t see that she and her childhood friends are growing apart, all she cares about is making it into the Nationals. In the end it takes a nasty fall during training, and a trip to the snow, to help Chelsea see things clearly. She finds common ground with Telia and together they manage to turn their gym talents into something fun they can enjoy together in The Flyaway Girls (RRP $14.99).