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The Night Olympic Team: Fighting to Keep Drugs Out Of the Games    by Caroline Hatton Amazon.com order for
Night Olympic Team
by Caroline Hatton
Order:  USA  Can
Boyds Mills Press, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Michelle York

Olympic athletes get the glory, while scientists get the pee.

That's how some might look at the role of drug testing at major athletic events. But now scientists are getting some of the glory too thanks to a new children's book, The Night Olympic Team: Fighting to Keep Drugs Out Of the Games.

The book, written by scientist Caroline Hatton and published by Boyds Mills Press, takes young readers through the race to discover a test for a new illegal substance, NESP, before the conclusion of the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City.

In The Night Olympic Team, readers journey from the bathroom - where athletes must pee into a cup in front of a drug-testing official - to the lab, where scientists work to analyze the results. Along the way, they are treated to a crash course in the potential harm of banned substances, including steroids and EPO. And they get to meet athletes like Beckie Scott of Canada, who ended up with the gold after the first two athletes in her event tested positive for drugs.

On the downside, the book is not written as dramatically as it could be, given the content, and the photos are lackluster. But, more importantly, it emphasizes the work scientists do, and the opportunities that exist within the field. Scientists not only crack the code, they win the gold.

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