Olympic Swimmer, 1936.
In 1935, Eleanor Rhys Davies is growing up in a changing world. She and her best friend, Sarah, are determined to compete in the national swimming team for the 1936 Olympics. Their dream comes true when both are selected. But the host city is Hitler's Berlin and Sarah is Jewish. Eleanor witnesses the Nazi's hostility to Jews and hears the distant murmurings that will erupt into WWII.
Paperback. Juvenile Fiction.
Another enjoyable read in the "My Story" Series, this is an easy-to-read diary style account of a fictional Olympic swimmer in the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The diary style is especially appealing for this type of story as a lot of information is included throughout the narrative and I think it gives the reader a really good understanding of some of the issues in Germany (and Europe) at that time and the impact that the Nazi Regime had on so many lives. I really liked at the end that there was a short historical note which encourages the reader to think about what they have read.
I am torn with this this series in that I want it to be based on real characters but I do think given that these books are a work of fiction that they are a good way to get your young reader into history. If your reader is truly interested in the subject matter there is so much reading material out there that it would be easy to follow their thread of interest and get more information.
So in summary I would say that this is a great book to introduce your young reader to a very important historical event.
I just finished reading this book last night. My Story - Berlin Olympics is a great historical fiction about the lead up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics for a young British swimming hopeful. It's written for kids, and would probably suit an 8 years+ audience. As soon as I opened the book i realised it was going to be too hard to read this with my 5 year old. Nevermind, she will enjoy it later when she is old enough I'm sure!
This book really appealed to me. I love books set out like diaries for a start. There is something really voyeuristic about reading diaries. It seems to help me get into the head of a character best. I'm also a bit of a history buff. And I love reading first-hand accounts of historical events. So this book ticked all the boxes.
I knew a small amount about the events surrounding the Berlin games and this book helped to round that knowledge out. But I don't think prior knowledge is required to enjoy this book. I also liked that the author has notes at the end to describe his research and to challenge the reader to think more about the events.
This would be so neat for studying the events prior to and after the first and second world war. Or to read in conjunction with the Diary of Anne Frank. I'm looking forward to reading more in the My Story range!
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