________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 14. . . .March 6, 2009

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American MX: From Backwater to World Leaders. (Mxplosion).

John Perritano.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3999-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3986-9 (rlb.).

Subject Headings:
Motocross-United States-Juvenile literature.
Motocross-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Motocross History: From Local Scrambling to World Championship MX to Freestyle. (Mxplosion).

Bob Woods.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4000-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3987-6 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Motocross-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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MX Bikes: Evolution From Primitive Street Machines to State of the Art Off-road Machines. (Mxplosion).

John Perritano.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4001-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3988-3 (rlb.).

Subject Headings:
Trail bikes-History-Juvenile literature.
Motorcycles, Racing-Juvenile literature.
Motocross-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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MX Champions: The Stars of the Show—Past and Present. (Mxplosion).

Stephen Timblin.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4002-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3989-0 (rlb.).

Subject Headings:
Motorcyclists-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Motocross-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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The Powerhouse MX Nations: USA, Belgium, UK, Netherlands, France and Germany. (Mxplosion).

Bryan Stealey.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4003-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3990-6 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Motocross-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Supercross and Arenacross: Taking MX Indoors. (Mxplosion).

Darren Sechrist.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (rlb.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4004-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3991-3 (rlb.).

Subject Heading:
Supercross-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Supercross is the highest level of competitive motocross racing in the world. To become a supercross champion, a racer must participate in a series of heats, or preliminary races. The top finishers in each of those heats square off in the main race. Those that do not qualify during preliminary heats are given two more chances to make it to the final event. While outdoor motocross races use a timing device to determine who wins, the first racer over the finish line in supercross is the winner. (From American MX.)

 

Though the earliest version of motocross has been around since the 1920s, only recently has the sport gained such popularity, attracting over a million fans at major races. This six-volume "MXplosion" series traces the history of motocross, the design changes in the motorcycles over the years, safety gear, rules, MX governing bodies, riding tricks and some of the most famous riders and the impact that they have had on the sport. Most of the titles have 12-13 chapters, with the exception of Powerhouse MX Nations, which has only seven. There is plenty of detailed information in the text, along with text boxes and charts listing individual competition winners as well as the number of wins by country. The trouble with this series is that there is so much overlap between the books- even some of the photographs are repeated- that it becomes difficult to distinguish between the titles. Purchasing just one or two of the books would be sufficient, even for MX aficionados. There are abundant colour and black and white archival photographs. A table of contents, a glossary and an index are included.

     American MX provides a brief history of the sport, from its beginnings in England in 1924, to the present day. The impact of European riders, the development of lighter bikes, rules, scoring, freestyle tricks, MX gear, and Supercross, the highest level of MX in the world, are just a few of the other topics covered. Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart and Travis Pastrana are featured as well.

      Motocross History explains the difference between motocross and supercross (basically, the former is held on a closed course over natural terrain, while the latter is conducted on a man-made course in a stadium), motocross lingo, the governing bodies of MX, and the first Supercross, held in Los Angeles in July, 1972. There is a list of AMA champions, a few of whom are featured in separate paragraphs.

      Only a diehard motocross fan would want to read MX Bikes. This title covers the original motorcycle designed by Daimler, changes in motorcycle design due to the influence of Japanese and European engineers, how an engine works, and the differences between a two-stroke and a four-stroke engine. A few riders are highlighted, and there is a very brief section on MX equipment. (One sub-heading in this title reads, "Here Comes the Swedes," an example of the need for more careful editing.)

      MX Champions describes different riding styles- motocross, supercross, arenacross, supermoto and freestyle. This book also focuses on a few great MX champions, both American and European, and discusses the ways in which these riders push the boundaries with each succeeding competition. Female riders are also featured.

      Powerhouse MX Nations provides a history of some of the great riders from Sweden, Belgium, France, Great Britain and the US and showcases riders from Australia and New Zealand, relative newcomers to the sport. Other topics include the changes to motocross over the past 60 years, some examples being the updated rules, larger crowds and new riders and nations emerging in the championships. Several competitions are described, as well as the ways in which the winners are determined. These include the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Supercross Series, the World Championships and the Motocross of Nations, in which the winning country is determined by the combined scores of that country's five fastest riders.

      Supercross and Arenacross discusses the influence of McGrath and Carmichael to raise the level of competition and fan interest, and the growth of MX over the past eight years. Other highlights include the two classes of supercross, the 17 tour events across the US and Canada, the awarding of points and prizes, the rider's team, and the types of tricks- whip, Nac-Nac, heel-clicker flip, cancan and the Superman seat grab. Smaller races, top amateur events, kids' MX for 7and 8-year-olds, and the successful marketing of MX through television and video games are also mentioned.

      Though these titles are somewhat repetitive, they should appeal to MX buffs.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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