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SUGAR AND ICE by Kate Messner


by Kate Messner

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2081-8
Publisher: Walker

Claire Boucher’s life revolves around ice skating, whether she's on the cow pond or the local rink in her hometown of Mojimuk Falls, N.Y. Although she is a gifted skater, 12-year-old Claire does not like competing. When her talent lands her a prestigious Silver Blades Scholarship, a highly selective and grueling program that prepares skaters for elite competition, she has to ask herself, is this what she truly wants? Messner’s real-life experience as the mother of a competitive skater is evident in her skillful portrayal of the sport's demands. The story follows Claire through eight months of intensive training that leaves her little time for family, friends and relaxation. Claire’s self-doubt and inner turmoil over whether to continue with the Silver Blades after her scholarship ends is both realistic and sensitively depicted. The solidarity among some of the skaters is nicely contrasted with the mind games and meanness of others. The addition of a light romance and the satisfying conclusion will appeal to those who have skating fantasies of their own, despite the childish cover art. (Fiction. 8-12)