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Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles

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A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard. When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a differen A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard. When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family. From her athletic early childhood to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, Flying High is the story of the world's greatest gymnast from author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Ebony Glenn.


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A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard. When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a differen A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard. When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family. From her athletic early childhood to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, Flying High is the story of the world's greatest gymnast from author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Ebony Glenn.

30 review for Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles

  1. 5 out of 5

    Raven Black

    The only reason this is not a five is I wanted more. I guess I need to read a full length biography of her now. With that said, this is a great early introduction to Simone Biles. Any kid who enjoys gymnastics would want to read. The illustrations are great and the afterwards about some key points in Biles' life are given. The part that makes this book practically perfect is that while it is a telling of her actual life, it reads as a story of a young girl finding her place, finding what makes h The only reason this is not a five is I wanted more. I guess I need to read a full length biography of her now. With that said, this is a great early introduction to Simone Biles. Any kid who enjoys gymnastics would want to read. The illustrations are great and the afterwards about some key points in Biles' life are given. The part that makes this book practically perfect is that while it is a telling of her actual life, it reads as a story of a young girl finding her place, finding what makes her happy. This allows the story to be relatable to all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I thought this book was cute, but very basic. I know it's geared towards young children, but I felt like the verses sometimes sacrificed clarity for rhyme. Her brother was shown to be separated from Simone and her sister when the two girls were adopted together, but then immediately after her brother was mentioned as taking her to the gym for the first time--very confusing until I read the additional details at the end of the book. Still, I think it's a book that's worth a look for young kids an I thought this book was cute, but very basic. I know it's geared towards young children, but I felt like the verses sometimes sacrificed clarity for rhyme. Her brother was shown to be separated from Simone and her sister when the two girls were adopted together, but then immediately after her brother was mentioned as taking her to the gym for the first time--very confusing until I read the additional details at the end of the book. Still, I think it's a book that's worth a look for young kids and gymnastics fans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles is a children's picture book written by Michelle Meadows and illustrated by Ebony Glenn. It centers on gymnast Simone Biles who enchanted the world during 2016 Summer Olympics. Simone Arianne Biles is an American artistic gymnast. With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the world's third most decorated gymnast (to date). Meadows's text is rather simplistic, straigh Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles is a children's picture book written by Michelle Meadows and illustrated by Ebony Glenn. It centers on gymnast Simone Biles who enchanted the world during 2016 Summer Olympics. Simone Arianne Biles is an American artistic gymnast. With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the world's third most decorated gymnast (to date). Meadows's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, informative, and lyrical. Employing rhyming text, Meadows sketches Biles's experiences with foster care and adoption, her entry into gymnastics, and continued resilience that carried her to the Olympic Games. Backmatter offers further biographical details, fun facts, and a select bibliography for further research. Glenn's art, rendered digitally, focuses on both motion and emotion. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It relays the early struggles, diligent training, and eventual successes of record-breaking Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. Simone is always in motion from toddlerhood when she discovers gymnastics. There is a simple beauty in showing how Biles' rise to Olympic gold medalist was not smooth. All in all, Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles is a soaring biography of Simon Biles – most decorated American gymnast.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    Rhyming text meant to tell Simone's story to young readers. Some of the illustrations are so very Simone and others I think look less like her. Interesting to include the child neglect, foster care, and sibling split in the book for young ones. The fact that she had 2 older brothers with her adopted parents (her bio grandfather and his wife) isn't clear until the back matter. We see her brothers getting led away in the family split, then a brother suggests the field trip to a gym; it's a little con Rhyming text meant to tell Simone's story to young readers. Some of the illustrations are so very Simone and others I think look less like her. Interesting to include the child neglect, foster care, and sibling split in the book for young ones. The fact that she had 2 older brothers with her adopted parents (her bio grandfather and his wife) isn't clear until the back matter. We see her brothers getting led away in the family split, then a brother suggests the field trip to a gym; it's a little confusing. Also not in love with the idea that choosing homeschool is giving something up.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Aimed pretty young (younger than I expected). There aren't a lot of specifics about gymnastics; it's talking about her journey to the 2016 Olympic team more broadly, with more detailed focus on her family. My biggest issue was with the illustrations. It didn't always really look like Simone, and the other members of the 2016 Olympic team were figure-out-able but not really recognizable either. (Simone's coach and Marta Karolyi looked more right more consistently.) Aimed pretty young (younger than I expected). There aren't a lot of specifics about gymnastics; it's talking about her journey to the 2016 Olympic team more broadly, with more detailed focus on her family. My biggest issue was with the illustrations. It didn't always really look like Simone, and the other members of the 2016 Olympic team were figure-out-able but not really recognizable either. (Simone's coach and Marta Karolyi looked more right more consistently.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    “With fire inside that sets her apart, Simone captures her dream and America’s heart.” This book gives a reader just a glimpse into the life of gymnast, Simone Biles, from her early childhood through the obstacles she encountered to her success in the olympics. Includes an author’s note in the back with additional information as well as a bibliography for additional reading. This should be popular with my students.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    I really liked learning more about Simone Biles and her life. I think the illustrations were awesome, especially the ones that depicted Biles doing flips and other gymnastic moves. I'm torn on the text. I think that the rhyming makes the book seem very flippant and I can't decide if I like that or want a more serious tone. That being said, still an excellent book! I really liked learning more about Simone Biles and her life. I think the illustrations were awesome, especially the ones that depicted Biles doing flips and other gymnastic moves. I'm torn on the text. I think that the rhyming makes the book seem very flippant and I can't decide if I like that or want a more serious tone. That being said, still an excellent book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    A biography written for younger students! There is such a need for books like this one, and it has the added bonus of amazing illustrations, being written like a story book and excellent back matter including a selected sources, pictures and fast facts. Two thumbs up! I look forward to sharing this story with my students!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I love Simone Biles and was so excited to introduce her to my 7-year old daughter but I didn’t realize how basic this biography is about her. It is definitely written for young children (3-6 years old) and provides a very brief overview of how she started gymnastics. The rhyming was good and the illustrations were OK, nothing memorable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reagan Smith

    This book follows the life of Simone Biles, olympic gold medalist gymnast who has not always had the easiest life. Kids will enjoy hearing how Simone made it to be an olympian. Through hard work, determination and blood, sweat and tears, you can do anything you put your mind to. I would love to use this book in my future classroom!

  11. 5 out of 5

    AMY

    This is a rhyming biography book written for younger ages. The illustrations are colorful and engaging. The information is helpful for simple school reports. This book will inspire children to go for their goals and dreams. Be sure to read the author's note at the end for additional information. Highly recommended for Grades K-2. This is a rhyming biography book written for younger ages. The illustrations are colorful and engaging. The information is helpful for simple school reports. This book will inspire children to go for their goals and dreams. Be sure to read the author's note at the end for additional information. Highly recommended for Grades K-2.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ann Williams

    Gymnastic fans will love this story of Simone Biles told in verse. The endnotes give readers more information and are a great starting point for further research into one of the greatest gymnasts of all time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dianna Rainey

    I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait to have an actual classroom to have it in. Simon Biles is an absolute inspiration for children, especially those that are in or have gone through the foster care system. Not only that, but it is a beautiful example of poetry.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annamarie Carlson (she, her)

    Follow the childhood and gymnastic success of the amazing Simone Biles, from her time in foster care to her adoption by her grandparents and her perseverance as a gymnastics champion. By the same author-illustrator duo as Brave Ballerina--I'm looking forward to more from these two! Follow the childhood and gymnastic success of the amazing Simone Biles, from her time in foster care to her adoption by her grandparents and her perseverance as a gymnastics champion. By the same author-illustrator duo as Brave Ballerina--I'm looking forward to more from these two!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pirouettes.And.Pages

    Thank you to Magico Libro Casa tours for the copy in exchange for an honest review! Such a cute and inspiring stories for kiddos! Extra special for gymnast kids!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    the best

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    A terrific picture book biography of the world's greatest gymnast. From foster care to the Olympic stage, Biles has persevered her way to the top. An inspiring story to share with my students. A terrific picture book biography of the world's greatest gymnast. From foster care to the Olympic stage, Biles has persevered her way to the top. An inspiring story to share with my students.

  18. 4 out of 5

    R Waterfall

    Super cool picture book about Simone Biles! I loved the illustrations and learning about Simone Biles. :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    A beautiful picture book biography written in verse. Dynamic illustrations leap off the page. An inspiring story of overcoming adversity, especially for children in foster care.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Especially love the illustrations and excellent back matter.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    BHM 2021 - Family Theme

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    The artwork is beautiful, and I'm so glad that Biles is being remembered with this lovely book. She's an icon and I hope this is just one of many that will tell her story. The artwork is beautiful, and I'm so glad that Biles is being remembered with this lovely book. She's an icon and I hope this is just one of many that will tell her story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa D

    Loved it! Cute biography of the legendary Simone biles

  24. 4 out of 5

    REK

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephani

  26. 5 out of 5

    Busola

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ro Menendez

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tiana morgan

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