Breaking The Ice by Gail Nall

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Kaitlin has big dreams. As a 12-year-old figure skater she dreams of competing in the Olympics. Kaitlin has worked really hard and is one of the only girls her age who can land the double axel. She also dreams of going to a regular school like all the other kids. For the time being, Kaitlin is home schooled so she can spend more time training at the rink.

When she receives poor scores in a competition, Kaitlin, who is usually quiet and polite, makes a huge scene. She tells the judges exactly what she thinks and then accidentally topples the table of trophies. A major skating taboo. As a result, her highly regarded coach drops her and she’s kicked out of the premier skating club. The only rink that would have her is the Fallton Club, which the other skaters jokingly refer to as the Fall Down Club.

Much to her surprise, she makes some new friends, including a cute, swishy hair boy who calls her Double Axel. She has some new experiences at the rink – both good and bad. But, her biggest challenge is learning a completely new program set to tango music in just a few short weeks. Her new coach tries everything to get her dig deep and add more feeling into her routine and she draws on her new experiences to do just that.

This contemporary novel shows the pressures of being a competitive athlete along with the social challenges of any pre-teen — first crush, mean girls, stage moms and discovering real friendships. Breaking The Ice is a great books for girls ages 9-12. And, after reading it, they might just want to lace up some skates and head to the rink.


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