Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner

Claire Boucher loves to ice skate. Growing up on a maple farm, she hasn’t had a lot of time for practicing, but has spent each free moment on the cow pond in the backyard, spinning and jumping. At the annual Maple Show, Claire is offered the opportunity to train with a class of elite skaters in Lake Placid, under the direction of a world famous coach. At first, she’s torn as to what to do, not wanting to leave the farm chores to someone else, but when her parents make it possible, Claire jumps at the chance to really skate.

When Claire arrives at the training camp, she is bombarded with catty girls and tough competition. When she has to make the decision to stay or go back to normal life at the farm, Claire must put her dream up against what matters most to her.

This was a sweet story, with a great message for young girls. Claire is a realistic character with goals she’s striving towards, yet her family and home keep calling to her. The decision she was forced to make is one that a lot of kids have to deal with at some point in their lives and it was handled in a believable and interesting way. Great descriptions of the setting, making for a perfect winter read! You’ll want to cozy up with the book and a mug of hot cocoa while reading about Claire’s skating journey.

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner, Walker Books, Ages 8-10, $16.99

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