- Jade Pettyjohn as McKenna Brooks
- Kerris Dorsey as Josie Myers
- Ysa Penarejo as Toulane Thomas
- Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Brooks
- Kally Berard as Sierra Kuchinko
- Cathy Rigby as Isabelle Manning
- George Chiang as Mr. Wu
- Ian Ziering as Mr. Brooks
- Kandance Kendall Roach as Maisey Brooks
- Paiten Raine Roach as Mara Brooks
The beginning starts in Shooting Star Gym. McKenna Brooks is practicing her backhand spring on the beam. Coach Isabelle tells McKenna that the move she was doing is way too advanced. McKenna tries to protest. Then coach tells her to just stretch. As McKenna is feeling depressed, her best friend Toulane Thomas comes over and tells McKenna she was great. She then gets on about how the two of them will get into the Olympics in 2016. Toulane explains that she will be on the podium with her gold, and McKenna next to her with her silver. McKenna tells her that she will get a gold instead. The two get back to gymnastics until McKenna's grandma comes into the gym with McKenna's twin younger sisters, Maisey and Mara. The four of them leave the gym.
At home, McKenna, Maisey, Mara, Mr. Brooks, and Mrs. Brooks are at the table and talking about Mrs. Brooks business, and how her guitarist quit on her. Mr. Brooks tries to convince Mrs. Brooks to let his old rock band play at her coffee shop. Then, Mrs. Brooks tells Maisey and Mara to go to their room while she and Mr. Brooks talk to McKenna. When the twins leave, McKenna thinks it is about her accidentally feeding the class pet. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks explain that Mr. Wu emailed them and said that McKenna's grades were slipping and he recommended that she get a tutor because he's concerned about McKenna. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks believe that McKenna is spending too much time on gymnastics and not enough time on her school books. McKenna refuses and promises to bring her grades up as there's going to be a science quiz the next day. She starts to read the science book, but doesn't understand it and quits.
At school McKenna is desperate to improve her grades and ends up cheating off of Sierra's paper. McKenna gets caught by Mr. Wu. After Mr. Wu tells her parents McKenna's grounded and they tell her that unless she agrees to get a tutor she'll have to quit gymnastics. McKenna reluctantly meets Josie Myers at the school's library. When McKenna sees Sierra, she tries to hide. Josie doesn't understand this. After Sierra leaves, Josie tries to tutor McKenna. McKenna gets angry when she finds out Josie wants her to read "baby books". She storms out of the library and asks Mr. Wu to find her a new tutor. She tries three different tutors who won't work for her. McKenna is soon forced to go back with Josie.
At the presentation run, the Shooting Stars Gymnastics Team preform for the parents. When McKenna goes up, she does everything perfectly. She comes to the very end of her practice, and decides to disobey the coach by doing the backhand spring. As a result of her disobedience McKenna falls and breaks her ankle. When McKenna comes home, she is very angry, as her parents say that the accident will allow her focus on school now instead of gymnastics. McKenna yells at them saying they must be happy she broke her ankle, and runs into her room. She tears down most of her posters, and cries. The next day, McKenna comes to school, and Mr. Wu tells McKenna that he's sorry she got hurt and says that Josie can start tutoring sessions after school. In the end McKenna gets better grades. She goes to a regional competition to try to make the team. She and Toulane make it, but Toulane doesn't want to do it. Toulane has a talk with her mom after the competition and is allowed to do rhythmic gymnastics, and Sierra takes Toulane's place on the team with McKenna.
- Sierra is shown to have black hair in the movie, while in the books she is a red-head.
- Tasha did not go to the Olympics in the books.
- In the books, Josie rides a horse named Pumpkin while in the movie she rides Snowflake.
- Dora, Elizabeth and other characters are not in the movie.
- McKenna's dad was not in a band in the books.
- Coach Isabelle was supposed to be a brunette, and was not as hard on the girls.
- In the book, Sierra is very good at gymnastics, while in the movie she has a bit of trouble.
- In the book, Sierra is an average student. In the movie, she is very smart, and seems to take the place of Elizabeth.
- Josie has blonde hair in the book; she has brown hair in the movie.
- Toulane got mad at McKenna after she got her cast in the movie, however in the books she and Sierra found out about the tutor before she got her cast and they both got mad, and the broken ankle helped them forgive her.
- In the movie, McKenna cheated by looking at Sierra's paper. In the book, McKenna took her take-home test to Elizabeth's house to get the answers, but was forced to tell her parents because Elizabeth's mom caught McKenna cheating.
- Several of Josie's reading techniques were not in the movie.
- The movie left out the Shooting Stars' visit to Hearts and Horses.
- In the books, McKenna's disobedience did not cause her fall. Instead, she was doing exactly as she should and fell. Also, she did not feel as if she was in "baby gymnastics."
- In the books, McKenna knew she was having trouble in school, but in the movie, she did not realize she needed a tutor.
- In the movie, Toulane was angry and sad that McKenna showed Josie their secret handshake. In the book, this never happened.
- In the books, the Brooks' trip to the Olympic Peninsula was spontaneous. In the movie, this is a planned annual event.
- There are three spots on the Regional competitive team rather than two. Originally at the end, McKenna, Toulane and a girl from another club got the spots. In the book, Toulane, Sierra and McKenna were the top three finishers at the qualifying meet.
- In the movie, McKenna wanted to switch tutors because Josie wanted McKenna to read "baby books", but after having three different tutors, she was soon forced to go back to Josie; this is not present in the books.
The movie aired on NBC on July 14, 2012.
Home Video Release
The movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 3, 2012, exclusively at American Girl and WalMart. It was given a wider release on February 19, 2013.