Little Girls in Pretty Boxes (Paperback)

The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters

By Joan Ryan

Grand Central Publishing, 9781538747780, 304pp.

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/1/2000)

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.



Welcome to the world of women's gymnastics and figure skating--the real world that happens away from the cameras, at the training camps and in the private lives of these talented teenage competitors. From starvation diets and debilitating injuries to the brutal tactics of tyrannical gymnastics guru Béla Károlyi, LITTLE GIRLS IN PRETTY BOXES portrays the horrors endured by girls at the hands of their coaches and sometimes their own families--and is now updated with a new introduction and foreword that address the sexual abuse scandal perpetrated by USA Gymnastics national team doctor, Larry Nassar. This groundbreaking book shows how a longstanding culture of abuse made young gymnasts perfect targets for a sexual predator, and continues to plead for sanity, safety, and an end to our national obsession: winning at any cost.

About the Author

Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist and the author of four books. She was a pioneer in sports journalism as one of the first female sports columnists in the country. Ryan's wide-ranging newspaper work spanned 25 years, earning 13 Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, the National Headliner Award, the Women's Sports Foundation's Journalism Award and the Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents Association.

Ryan is a founding trustee of Coaching Corps in Oakland, CA, and since 2008 has been the senior media advisor to the San Francisco Giants. She lives in Sausalito, California, with her husband, sportscaster Barry Tompkins.

Praise For Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters

One of Sports Illustrated's "Top 100 Sports Books of All Time"

One of Guardian (UK)'s "Top 50 Sports Books of All Time"

"Scathing...profoundly important."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Stunning and frightening."—John Feinstein, New York Times bestselling author of A Good Walk Spoiled and The First Major

"Confirms your worst suspicions about 15-year-old gymnasts
in 10-year-old bodies and the terrible price they pay, regardless of success."Phil Mushnick, New York Post

"This book will open the eyes of every girl and parent with dreams of the Olympics, and it will change forever the way America looks at two of its most beloved sports."—Billie Jean King