Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is engrossing and educational. It is rather one sided, leaning towards the negative aspects of figure skating and gymnastics.
Ryan discusses in lengthy detail the mental, physical and psychological problems that exists in the sport. He also weighs in on the eating disorders and the desire/need for teeny tiny female athletes in a sport where "old" is 20 years old.
Being an elite gymnast/figure skater is a sport dominated by the young, that requires strength, dedication and hard work -
As you read this, keep in mind that this book doesn't cover all aspects of the sport, it leaves out the good and bad (yes, more bad). If you are using this book as a way to make informative choices, seek plenty of other sources, as it is extremely one sided.
From starvation diets and debilitating injuries to the brutal tactics of tyrannical gymnastics guru Bela Karolyi, "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" portrays the horrors endured by girls at the hands of their coaches and sometimes their own families. An acclaimed expose that has already helped reform Olympic sports -- now updated to reflect the latest developments in women's gymnastics and figure skating -- it continues to plead for sanity, safety, and an end to our national obsession: winning at any cost.