Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner

sugar and iceI really enjoyed this new book by the author of another book I liked, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Snow and Ice tells the story of 7th grader Claire Boucher, who spends her time skating on the frozen pond, teaching skating to younger children and helping her family on their maple farm.  Claire loves skating more than anything, and when a talent scout sees her stellar performance in the annual Maple Show, she’s offered a full scholarship to the summer program at Lake Placid, under the tutelage of an intense Russian skating coach.  She hates competing –the only time she tried, she missed her performance because she was in the bathroom being sick –and she doesn’t think there’s any way her family can manage getting her there, but when her parents find out about the offer, they’re determined to make it happen for her.  What an intense world she finds herself dropped into!  Her own coach has always been encouraging, even when Claire makes mistakes, and she’s never been subjected to mean girls who are willing to sabotage their “friends” so they can shine brighter.  Claire also didn’t realize how much she would have to give up in order to participate in the program, including her beloved coaching job, and (almost) her friendship with her best friend, Natalie, who she never has time for anymore.  This book is a great glimpse into the choices talented kids have to make, whether they’re skaters, soccer players, or musicians. Review by Stacy Church

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