7 January 2014, Scholastic, Inc.
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Esperanza Flores has worked hard but also been lucky-- her single mother has a supportive community at the Italian restaurant where she works; Esperanza's Coach Chen moved to her small town, coaches her for free AND has her own rink right next door to a small house the Flores family rents; and she gets on the Olympic team when the girl who scores right above her is injured. Espi's friends and family are supportive of her trip to the Olympics even though her Dominican national mother has some trouble getting a visa to travel to the Olympics. There is a lot of in-fighting on the ice skating team, and Espi is both angry and sad that the other figure skaters can't be nice to her. She is also distracted by two boy skaters, one of whom may just be toying with her emotions for the press's benefit and also on behalf of the injured skater whose place she took. Espi desperately wants to land a quadruple salchow jump, but also wants to make her mother proud AND get along with everyone on the Olympic team.
Strengths: Like Gold Medal Summer, this was a great book about sports, girl drama, AND romance. It's well written, I like the characters, and the plot moves right along. I would never have read a book about girls doing sports when I was in middle school, but I would have loved this one because of all of the great details about traveling, and all the drama. Awesome stuff!
Weaknesses: Hmmm. Nope. Even liked the drama with the two boys, the stuff with the mean skater girls-- can't think of anything I would change!
And we're finally back at school! It's been too long a break, and too much cold weather. Now I have to get books for all 750 students in two days! (We have a teacher work session on Friday-- Waiver Day, at which I normally love to present three packed sessions of 100 Great New Books, but since my mother is still in the hospital from her extensive back surgery, I'll be with her instead. I am hoping that they will release her to a rehabilitation center and we can spend the weekend getting her settled.)