Friday, July 20, 2012

The Olympics Unshelved: Fencing

Today our Olympics coverage takes on the sport of kings... or at least people who have swords: fencing.

When I was in school, my best friend took fencing classes and I often went with her and waited for her to be done. I remember just thinking it was so cool that they got to use swords like they were Musketeers or something. It seemed even crazier that here were were kids and teens practicing outsmarting each other with foils while wearing jeans and Converse sneakers- like everyone was trapped in between two times. I've never been coordinated or athletic enough to try the sport myself, but I still think that fencers are secret time-travelers and I'm happy to present my book for Theme Friday!

Foiled by Jane Yolen
Aliera fences. It's not like being on the basketball team or the softball team. She doesn't get a letter jacket or a space at the jock lunch table. Instead, she gets to run from school to practice across town lugging her gear and her foil on the subway and then dragging it all home again. But Aliera loves it, so all of that is worth it, no question.

When she gets a new bio lab partner, Avery, she suddenly finds herself dueling outside of class. Only this time it's with words. Something about this guy just causes her to parry and attack.

 But Aliera has more on her mind than boys. Can she keep her head in the game and be ready for whatever strange things life will throw at her? Whether it's frog dissections, getting a beautiful but unusual new foil or tackling new foes that she could never have imagined, Aliera has to be on her toes and prepared to go on the offensive.
Find out if she can rise to the occasion in this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by Jane Yolen.

For a look at a real Olympian in fencing, check out this spotlight on Claire Bennett, one of the fencers on England's team.

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