Friday, May 28, 2010

Girl Athletes: The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner

As you may know, Kate Messner's The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z won the EB White Read Aloud Award this past week at BEA.  So of course, I must profile Gianna Z this week as one of my girl athletes!  Gianna Z is a middle grade novel - great for grades 5-8 and beyond.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kate at the New England SCBWI last week, and she is a lovely and talented person.  I'm thrilled her wonderful book has been honored.  Ok, I'll stop gushing. :)

 Summary from Kate Messner's website.

Gianna Zales is a star runner with one more hurdle to jump before she goes to cross-country sectionals – a monster leaf collection project. To get it done, she’ll have to survive a rival who desperately wants to take her place at sectionals, a grandmother who leaves her false teeth in the refrigerator, and a best friend whose feelings about her are changing like the leaves. Gianna Z needs a stroke of brilliance to make it work!

The book isn't necessarily about Gianna being a track star, it's about her relationships with her friends and family and coming to terms with her grandmother's health, but she is a track star.  It's part of her -- and that's what I like about this book.  It's not an unusual thing for Gianna to run - it's just what she does.

I'm anxiously awaiting Kate's next book - Sugar and Ice.  Visit Kate's website for more information.


Heather Kelly said...

I too, have been anxiously awaiting Kate's next book!

I loved The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z--as did my ten year old son. Marvelous book. Made even better by how amazing Kate is in person. I love her too!

Ansha said...

I am currently reading it! You know I was surprised that it was shelved in the YA section of my library and not the MG section.

Kris said...

Heather and Ansha -- Gianna was one of my favorite new discoveries this year.

Thanks for stopping by.

laurapauling said...

A wonderful story. Very moving. The addition of the grandmother really deepened the story. I loved it.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I haven't read this but the running element you write of makes me think of Heartbeat by Sharon Creech. Do you know that one? A powerful novel in verse that totally works with your girls and sports theme. I will keep my eyes peeled for this.

Lydia Kang said...

I haven't read this one but I feel like I missed out on something really good. Thanks for the post!

Ansha said...

Just finished reading it this week. LOVED IT!!! Wonderful book!

Kris said...

Glad you liked it! I've been recommending it to everyone!