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Hardback with ribbon marker

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A brilliant introduction to the history of The Olympics, from the traditional games of Ancient Greece, to their revival by Pierre de Coubertin and the pomp and ceremony of the modern Games. Internet links to carefully selected websites allow children to access the very best sites to support this book and enhance their learning experience. Specially written for children growing in reading confidence and ability. Part of the Usborne Reading Programme, developed with reading experts at the University of Roehampton.

Book information

Key Stage
Lexile Measure
Book Band
CEFR Level
Hardback with ribbon marker
ISBN: 9781409545934
Extent: 64 pages
Dimensions: 198 x 130mm
Paddy Mounter

Author information

Minna Lacey

Minna Lacey has been writing books for Usborne since 2004, about all kinds of topics - from machines and nature to Christopher Columbus and the Olympics. Born in London, Minna worked as a journalist in Bogota, Colombia, and New York before returning to London to write. She loves reading, drawing, photography, ping pong and Salsa dancing, and has two children called Finn and Poppy.

Press reviews

“A beautifully-illustrated trip through time looking at the history of the Olympic Games, right through to the event we know today.”
“The Story of the Olympics by Minna Lacey, offers an entertaining run-down of the history of the Games. It gets out of the starting blocks with the notoriously nude Ancient Greeks - did you know they declared peace for a month either side of the event so people could travel to and from it safely? - and crosses the finishing line bang up to date with BMX cycling in Beijing. The inclusion of issues like the banning of women offers a springboard for discussion, and uplifting personal stories, such as black runner Jesse Owens' triumphant competition in Nazi-ruled Berlin, are potent reminders of the spirit of the Games. ”
“This is one title from the Usborne Reading Programme, published to coincide with the Beijing Olympics. It offers a lively and engaging look at the story of the Olympic Games from its foundations in Ancient Greece to the global spectacles seen by today's audiences. From Series 2 of the Usborne Reading Programme, this book is intended to support independent readers who are growing in confidence. A clear font is used and the layout is uncluttered. The book is heavily illustrated with cartoon style illustrations, which add a lightly humorous touch. Topics covered include a chapter on great Olympic heroes and there is an appendix listing all the dates and venues of the summer and winter Olympics. The framework for the Usborne Reading Programme can be downloaded from the Usborne website ”
“Gives younger children an ideal opportunity to share in the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games.”
“Perfect for new readers who are growing in confidence, this Usborne Young Reader offers all the facts and is packed with bright, colourful illustrations – a KS1 essential read.”


For links to specially selected websites with video clips and activities or a pronunciation guide for this book, visit the Usborne Quicklinks website.

Resources for this book

  • Usborne Reading Programme
    Find out more about the Usborne Reading Programme, download a chart of the seven levels and watch an interview with reading consultant Alison Kelly.