cover image Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice

Gail Nall. S&S/Aladdin, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1911-6

Homeschooled 12-year-old Kaitlin lives for figure skating and dreams of reaching the Olympics one day, but when she melts down at a competition—shouting at the judges and accidentally ruining a display of medals—she is kicked out of her skate club. The only club in town that will take Kaitlin is the down-on-its-heels Fallton Club, whose welcoming attitude she quickly comes to appreciate. Kaitlin, who is usually meek (she has no idea where that meltdown came from), must learn to allow passion into her routines, as well as to speak up for herself, if she wants to achieve her goals of becoming a great skater, attending school, and making friends outside of the skating world. Debut author Nall effectively traces Kaitlin’s quest to find herself and navigate relationships with the skaters she meets at the Fallton Club, including cute bad boy Braedon, loyal new friend Miyu, and mean girl Addison. Secondary characters are fairly two-dimensional, but Kaitlin’s growth feels genuine, and Nall’s descriptions of skating and competition will hold readers’ attention. Ages 8–12. Agent: Julia Alexandra Weber, J.A. Weber Literaturagentur. (Jan.)