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The Vine: April 30, 2014

Submitted by on April 30, 2014 – 5:11 PM15 Comments


After watching the team Olympic figure-skating competition, I was reminded of a YA book that I read in the mid-late '90s.

It was about a teenage figure skater who was forced into early retirement by her parents after suffering either an injury or perhaps some sort of illness (there is a chance it was a behavioral issue instead but I'm pretty sure it was just something health-related). Her parents sent her to boarding school with strict instructions to the administration that she not be allowed to do anything ice-related. She is, of course, furious and ends up meeting a guy who helps her sneak around and practice for some upcoming competition. I feel like in the end her parents come around and support her at the event, but I'm sketchy on the details.

I know she was super-pissed because they took away her special gold skates. One part that sticks vividly in my mind is that she wore one of her figure-skating costumes to a party and it was homemade with a cutout midriff section. I remember thinking how risque that seemed to me!

I have searched Google and Goodreads but can't seem to come up with the correct book. Hoping another reader can help!



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  • Anna says:

    Ice Dancing, and its sequel, Ice Princess. LOVED those stories.

  • Katie says:


    I totally know the books that you're looking for — Ice Dancing and Ice Princess by Nicholas Walker. I read them about a thousand times as a kid and actually bought them used a few years back to re-read!

  • Up Too Late says:

    Look at The Silver Seven by Rita Ritchie. Close. I don't remember the main character retiring, but rather moving to a place where hockey was taken seriously, figure skating wasn't, and she couldn't find ice to practice. Her career stalled at "level 7" (whatever that means) and she never got a gold "8".

  • Katie says:

    Yep, definitely Ice Dancing. I remember that book- I think she had a heart condition and that's why her parents didn't want her to skate, even after the doctor cleared her.

  • Jen S. 2.0 says:

    Now I need to read those! That's My Girl by Jill Ross Klevin was a favorite of mine, so these sound awesome.

  • Katie (OP) says:

    Yes, that's totally it. Thanks so much you guys. I'm off to Amazon to purchase!

  • Clover says:

    Now I want to go find all of these!

    My favorite–which I read over and over and over–was "The Chance of a Lifetime," about the fictional Dani London and her Olympic dreams. I confess I've also seen "The Cutting Edge" like, a hundred times, and have even gotten sucked into viewing "Go Figure" (made in 2005, aired on the Disney Channel) with my tween stepdaughter.

    I have no idea why I find stories about figure skaters compelling, but I do find it reassuring that apparently others share this affliction.

  • Rebecca U says:

    I feel the need to watch Ice Castles now. (The 1978 version, I'm old).

  • KLM says:

    Y'all beat me to it, but it doesn't matter — I just want to celebrate that there are other people who loved these books as much as I did! On one of my many rereads of Ice Princess I dropped it in the bathtub and it swelled to three times its size and lost its cover and I STILL kept it.

  • ark says:

    Wow, this is the first time that I've ever recognized a book question! Definitely Ice Dancing which was one of my favorites. I am shocked how clearly I can remember all of these details (and more!) – am really tempted now to go reread them too.

  • MaryAnne says:

    Jen S 2.0 – oh, wow … you are the first person I've ever found that also read "That's My Girl" … I wore that book OUT.

  • Jen S. 2.0 says:

    **high-fiving MaryAnne** Not only did I love that book, but I re-read it recently (within the last year or so) and it was still great. I don't know why I've never looked to see what else Jill Ross Klevin ever wrote, but now I think I will.

  • VKay says:

    I loved that book as a kid. I had no idea there was a sequel! I'll have to check it out. I'm also glad to see other fans of it; none of my friends read it. Thanks, Tomato Nation!

  • circlegirl says:

    Wow – I'm the mom of an 11-year old figure skater and I'm so glad to know these are out there as summer approaches and she is "SO BORED MOM"!

    Thanks Nation for answering a question I didn't even know I had.

    *smacks head for not thinking of books about skating*

  • rebecca says:

    Now you've got me thinking of a book I read from the same time period about a male figure skater. Set in NYC. He's a figure skater who ends up spending time with a girl (not sure why.) The only thing I can remember vividly from the book is that he is walking through the park and someone says "Loose joints" and the girl thinks he is talking about the way the guy figure skater walks rather than selling weed. Anybody?

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