With a dad who is a former Winter X Games athlete and an impressive achievement record of her own, Lexi seems poised for the Olympics when a devastating snowboarding accident occurs.
After a lengthy recovery, 13-year-old Lexi returns to her prestigious training school with ambivalence. At school, Lexi faces an old rival and a former best friend—and plenty of doubt about her abilities. Chronicling Lexi’s emotional turmoil as she struggles to re-enter the high-intensity training environment, Mancusi explores the pressures young, driven athletes may encounter, whether from their families, their coaches, or themselves. Meeting Logan, a snowboarder and son of a school employee, provides Lexi with a new sense of the possibilities beyond competitive snowboarding. When an opportunity to join Logan’s friends’ band arises, Lexi must determine if there is room in her life for more than training. Along with Lexi’s evolving relationship with Logan, Mancusi includes some intrigue. Lexi questions the circumstances surrounding her accident, believing rival Olivia was the culprit who caused Lexi’s fall, but the truth surprises her. Lexi emerges with a mature perspective about competition and a confidence that the world offers myriad possibilities.
Mancusi’s engrossing tale provides a gripping glimpse at competitive snowboarding and a penetrating look at friendships within that context. (Fiction. 11-14)