Boitano's Edge: Inside the Real World of Figure Skating

Brian Boitano, Author, Suzanne Harper, With, Peggy Fleming, Introduction by
Brian Boitano, Author, Suzanne Harper, With, Peggy Fleming, Introduction by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $25 (144p) ISBN 978-0-689-81915-5
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Just in time for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Boitano joins fellow figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan (see Children's Forecasts, Nov. 10) in offering a book about their popular sport. A former World, National and Olympic champion as well as a professional performer, Boitano has much to spotlight in his stellar career. But this stylish tome far exceeds the limitations of a formal biography: it's both fun and a valuable reference for any figure-skating enthusiast. Part scrapbook, part history book and all fascinating, the volume covers every angle of the sport, from those first tentative strokes on the ice to world-class competition. With an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tone, Boitano intertwines personal anecdotes with general skating information; sidebars pipe in specifics about such topics as the cost of costumes and rink etiquette. The book's large format allows not only for a profusion of crisp color photos but also for such appealing design elements as a time-lapse photo of a jump. Also included are a detailed glossary of skating slang, a section on how to judge a competition (with comments from a 40-year veteran) and a passage on blade sharpening (contributed by the master craftsman who handles Boitano's skates). Capsule biographies of famous skaters as well as an extensive listing of champions add to the heft here. Young skaters are sure to give this title a top score of 6.0. Ages 8-up. (Dec.)
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