Fire on Ice: Autobiography of a Champion Figure Skater

Sasha Cohen, Author, Amanda Maciel, Author, Kathy Goedeken, Illustrator with Amanda Maciel, photos by Kathy Goedeken. HarperCollins $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-072490-0 ISBN 978-0-06-072489-4

California-born figure skater Cohen offers a detailed, honest account of her life on and off the ice in this lively autobiography, which opens as she is about to perform in the 2002 Winter Olympics. She then cuts to her early childhood, portraying herself as a frisky four-year-old whose mother enrolled her in gymnastics class as "a good way to wear me out and keep my from destroying the house." At the age of seven, she began pouring her bountiful energy into figure skating and experienced some frustration at being less technically advanced than her peers who had started skating earlier. Cohen candidly reveals her nervousness while performing, mistakes made while competing and setbacks due to injuries. Yet as the skater chronicles her career, describing copious lessons and practices and her progression through various levels of competition, the pervasive tone of the narrative is positive and confident. The surfeit of particulars (about selecting skating costumes, about what she and her family ate at restaurants) at times slow the rhythm, but Cohen's fans will glide through these pages. Readers will be drawn into her recap of major competitions—especially when the narrative catches up to the 2002 Winter Olympics, where she failed to win the medal but left the games determined to get "back on Olympic ice." Not surprisingly, with the 2006 Turin Games on the horizon, Cohen leaves her story up in the air. Readers will be rooting for this plucky, resilient competitor. Ages 8-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-8798-5
Paperback - 172 pages - 978-0-06-072489-4
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