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Viviane Julien
Montreal, Quebec /Amerique, 1991. 134pp, paper, $7.95
ISBN 2-89037-542-0. CIP

Grades 5 to 7/Ages 10 lo 12

Reviewed by Doris Lemoine

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

French-language materials on Olympic sports are rare for young readers, so this title will be a welcome addition.

Corina, a ten-year-old Romanian girl, has long cherished the dream of attending the renowned school of gymnastics, Deva, noted for its numerous Olympic champions. To be admitted, Corina must first pass the prelimi­nary examinations. Unsuccessful on her first attempt, she finally succeeds the second time. The road to success is not easily accessible, to her surprise. Emotionally unsure of herself, Corina is tempted to give up at a crucial mo­ment. Encouragement from key persons like Mitran, her coach, Lili, a former champion admired by Corina, and Marie, her young colleague, added to her relentless determina­tion to surpass herself and her above average abilities, eventually makes her a true champion.

La championne is Viviane Julien's sixth novel in the series "Litterature jeunesse" published by Quebec /Amerique. All six tides are based on films in Rock Demers' "Conies pour tous" ("Tales for All") series. The author has the difficult task of keeping her readers alert and interested in a story that is readily available on film.

Teacher-librarians, on the other hand, have the opportunity to motivate readers and prepare them for the film. Children could be grouped, after reading the first chapter, and asked to become the casting director, costume designer, special effects crew, set designer, etc. They could discuss in detail the different aspects of filmmaking working from a script.

As they imagine the different characters, their personalities, they way they are dressed, etc., they will have to re-read parts of the story to get details right, and will have to use their imaginative abilities for the rest. When the film is viewed, it will be from a different perspective. The children will be searching for differences and noting similarities.

A novel to be used preferably with the film. Recommended for Immersion students.

Doris Lemoine, Bureau de l'education francaise. Direction des ressources educatives francaises, Winnipeg,Man.

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