Sugar and Ice
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Sugar and Ice

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  465 ratings  ·  118 reviews
For Claire Boucher, life is all about skating on the frozen cow pond and in the annual Maple Show right before the big pancake breakfast on her family's farm. But all that changes when Russian skating coach Andrei Grosheva offers Claire a scholarship to train with the elite in Lake Placid. Tossed into a world of mean girls on ice, where competition is everything, Claire re...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Walker & Company
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I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Kate Messner's new novel, Sugar and Ice, while at the IRA conference in Chicago. I got it on Monday and began reading it immediately. I was so taken by the main character, Claire that I ended up staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish.

Claire is the kind of student I love having in class. A good friend, interested in school (especially math), and kind to her family. She is lucky enough to receive a scholarship to train at Lake Placid for ice s...more
They say to write what you know. We’ve all heard that line. It’s bounced about countless writing groups. But there’s an unspoken rule amongst children that’s as pervasive as it is harmful: Read what you know. If you’re a soccer fan, only read soccer books. If you like ballet, get a whole bunch of ballet books. Librarians, teachers, and parents can spend countless hours fighting against the sometimes innate understanding some children have acquired that dictates that they can’t read about anythin...more
I'm not gonna do a "A thrilling story of..." like I did for Skate School, because this one was actually pretty good.

It was about Claire Boucher's troubles as she is selected to train at a rink with a really good coach. There are girls who are mean to her, her coach expects her to be better than she is, and she barely ever sees her best friend.

You identify with the characters more than Skate School, and it's far more realistic. There is a "How many revolutions?" scenario about half way through, b...more
This book was described to me as mean girls on ice. And it is, but it is also so much more.

The main character Claire is from a small town in New York and loves to skate for fun when, at a show, a Russian coach from Lake Placid offers her a scholarship to train at the Olympic Center. This could change Claire's life, which is why she accepts. This acceptance leads to great sacrifice though- friendships, family time, school, etc. Is it worth it? And on top of that, some of the girls at the center...more
Steph Su
If all middle grade were written as well as this, I think I just might read middle grade forever. Kate Messner’s second novel is just as fun, heartfelt, and engrossing as her first. It sent me in ecstacies of delight over how much I loved it!

I don’t know much about either collecting sap or ice-skating, but SUGAR AND ICE made me wish I were Claire. She is a delightful protagonist, full of love for her friends, family, and passion, but also young enough to experience the vulnerabilities of dealing...more
A convincingly told story about a 7th grader who unexpectedly earns a scholarship for intensive figure skating training at Lake Placid. In addition to the physical and mental challenges that accompany such athletic dedication, the author does not ignore the challenges this training has on Claire's schoolwork, friendships, health and on her and other competitors' families. Fans of figure skating will certainly enjoy it. I especially liked how the author portrayed mean girls but also portrayed out...more
I adore this book! Kate Messner is a master at creating strong girl characters as role models for middle grader readers. Through Claire, girls can see that being true to who you are, believing in yourself, and treating others how you would want to be treated are cool! Messner doesn't sugar coat the reality of 'mean girls' and the characters' voices and actions ring true from beginning to end. Fantastic book, cover to cover!

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near...more
Sugar and Ice Author: Kate Messner Genre: Fiction
Claire Butcher loves skating. It's her life. But she also helps her parents in their maple farm. Claire gets her chance of getting a full scholarship in Lake Placid when a Russian skating star Andrei Groshev's sees her perform in the annual Maple show. At first she is confused of what to do but when she tells her family they all tell her how this is a chance of a lifetime and they give her encouragement to try it out. Throughout the story Claire e...more
When Claire receives a scholarship to train as a competitive ice skater, she sacrifices time, friendships, and connections to her life at home. Are these sacrifices worth it? Messner, author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z, creates another marvelous story about an ordinary girl who faces interesting challenges.
I loved this book so much! Even with Christmas and other exciting things going on, I couldn't get my eyes off of the pages! Not only does it relate to me in certain ways, but it encourages people to be smart, strong, and laugh. 5 stars!
Sana El Manahi
This is one of the greatest books EVER written. This author is amazing. I love how she always describes everything so perfectly
Ashley G.
Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner is about a young girl who works with her parents to make syrup. Claire Marie Boucher is a skater and boils maple sap. She works with kids and skates for a few shows, such as the Fall Maple Show. When she skates and lands a double, someone from Lake Placid, offers her a scholarship, she doesn't know what to say. Lie, she does, no. She doesn't want to join but what can a little skating really do? When she enters into her first practice, the kids were nice. Who knew th...more
Ms. Mulhern Gross
Earlier this week I finished reading a fantastic middle grade/tween book and I can not recommend it enough. Kate Messner’s Sugar and Ice is a book you should be handing to all of your middle grade readers. It’s just perfect! Reading it, I was transported to Lake Placid and could almost feel the snowflakes in the air and smell the maple syrup on Claire’s family farm.

Claire Boucher loves to ice skate. She skates on the cow pond as soon as it is safely frozen over and she loves coaching the little...more
Mary Ann
Do you ever wonder how hard to push your child to follow their dream? If they had an opportunity to really pursue an interest, how much would you encourage them to do that - whether it was training with an outstanding coach, or taking extra classes. Sugar and Ice, a new novel by the wonderful author Kate Messner, explores one girl's decision to follow her love of ice skating and accept a scholarship to a prestigious training center. A wonderful holiday present would be to give Sugar and Ice alon...more
Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner follows thirteen year old Claire as she receives a scholarship to work with a prestigious figure skating coach. Claire, thrust into this high stress environment has to learn to deal with a crew of backstabbing girls and trying to figure out a way to balance her new schedule with the rest of her life.

Messner does a fantastic job with creating a world that readers can get lost in. Claire's love of skating and her fight for confidence makes her a character that girls c...more
Claire is a 7th grader who lives in a small town on the U.S./Canada border, who seems more than usually responsible and kind, with her willingness to work hard on her family's farm, play Indiana Jones games with her younger brothers, and coach young skaters on the weekends. When she is selected to skate the Maple Show Princess solo at the town's festival, she doesn't know that a Olympic Gold-winning scout, Andrei Groshev, will be in the audience. He is impressed by her talent and offers her a sc...more
I loved Sugar and Ice! Claire Boucher is a middle school ice skater, plucked from her small town into an elite training camp by a world renowned coach.

I live in Florida, but I was in the land of snow and maple syrup the whole time I spent reading this wonderful book. The locker room scenes played like a movie in my head. The author's knowledge of the ice skating world and its jargon opened the door for me to a place I'd never been; ice skating terms I didn't know only made the story more real. B...more
Jenny W.
Sugar and Ice By: Kate Messner
288 Pages
Realistic Fiction

Have you ever felt like you don't fit in at all? Well meet Claire Boucher. In Claire's life, the only things she needs to think about is Ice Skating on the frozen cow pond and doing work on the farm with her parents. Claire performs at a recital and a talent scout form Lake Placid sees her true talent. The talent scout asks her if she would like to train at Lake Placid with all of the experienced ice skaters. At first she wants to turn dow...more
In Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner, Claire Boucher has always dreamed of being part of a professional competition. The simple maple tree family barn and skating on the frozen cow pond changes when she's offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity— a scholarship to train with the elite skaters in Lake Placid. She's tossed into a world of mean girls on ice, where competition is everything. Claire soon realized that her perfect dream isn't so easily accomplished. Although she's lost her best friend, fe...more
Fabulous story. Within the first three paragraphs, I was already exclaiming to my dogs, who love to hear about the books I’m reading, about the incredible voice in this book. I could hear Claire and her mom talking in the sugarhouse, smell the sweet maple syrup cooking, and feel the chill in the air. The imagery was beautifully done.

As was the story itself. Claire is offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train with an awesome coach and skaters who are the cream of the crop. Despite some...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Claire has so much going on with her skating, coaching young skaters, school work, working on her family's farm, and hanging out with her friends. One day, all that changes when a famous Russian coach sees her skate at the annual Maple Show. She lands a double toe loop, impressing him greatly.

He offers her a scholarship to skate at the school in Lake Placid for the summer. Claire can't believe it. She almost doesn't take the scholarship. The drive...more
Booktalk: All most people can think of in Mojimuk Falls is how to escape, but Claire loves her small, rural, New York town . She loves her family’s maple sugar farm, she loves her best friend Natalie, she loves doing math league at school, but most of all she loves ice skating. Whether it’s skating club with Natalie, junior coaching, or just skating on the cow pond, Claire feels at home and free when she’s on the ice. What Claire doesn’t love is competitions. Even though she’s the best skater in...more
Diane Walters
This really was a cute book about ice skating. The dialogue flowed well. The storyline flowed well. The story had a good arc. It was quick. The only thing that I found a tiny bit odd was that the language seemed a lot older than a thirteen-year-old would use. I don't know any thirteen-year-olds, though. And, I don't know any competitive skaters, so perhaps it was just a situation I was unfamiliar with. Anyway, I had fun with it.
I am a pushover for books in which a girl becomes immersed in the intense world of an individual sport. Messner's novel is engrossing, realistic and still full of unpredictable plot twists. Reading about Claire's experiences in the competitive world of ice skating, complete with mean girls, competition anxieties, and lack of time for anything else kept me riveted to the page. Details about Claire's life off the ice provide for interesting reading as well; a report on Fibonacci for math becomes a...more
Susan Crean
Claire is a smalltown girl who loves to skate. She lives on a maple syrup farm with her large close family and has a best friend named Natalie. She is given what other people refer to as "the opportunity of a lifetime" to train with an Olympic caliber coach. The training isn't the only thing that is tough.
This book got better and better as it went on. Of course, I was hooked by the great writing on page 1 (fabulous example of personification: "Even with the sun shining, spring wasn't ready to cl...more
Susan P
I really liked this! Claire has grown up skating on the pond behind her house, and helping to coach younger kids in her small town where her family owns a farm that produces maple syrup (thus the title of the book). After she is spotted by an elite coach at a local competition, she is invited to attend an exclusive training camp for up and coming skaters on a full scholarship. Claire has always loved to skate, but skating competitively is a whole other ball of wax. The other girls are viciously...more
This is the second Kate Messner book I have read, and both are absolutely wonderful. The main characters are middle school girls, but I think my fourth grade girls will make a lot of connections with these pre-teen characters. In this book, the main character doesn't think much of her own skating talents, and is terrified to compete, but as the book goes on she learns to appreciate her own talents and how to enjoy and overcome the challenges she faces. There is a "mean girl" character in this bo...more
Don't judge this book by its cover! What looks like a novel for 3rd or 4th graders is a solid upper middle school story of a country girl who is given a shot at big league figure skating. Claire lives on a farm in upstate New York where maple sugaring is a big deal, but her passion is skating on the cow pond. She's discovered by an Olympic coach and offered a scholarship to train in Lake Placid. If you've ever wondered what it takes to be an Olympiad, this book will set you straight. Messner doe...more
It was a great book because it had a lot of imagery. This book is about a girl named Claire Boucher who loves ice-skating. When an elite Russian skater gives her a scholorship to train at Lake Placid with the beat coaches, Claire's life changes entirely...
NewFranklin School
This is the story of Claire, who lives way up north in New York State in a very rural area and loves to figure skate. Because she lives near Lake Placid, where many figure skaters train, a famous coach comes to a small performance she is in and Claire gets a scholarship to train with very serious figure skaters, competing and everything. It's a totally different world for Claire, and she's not sure how she feels about the whole thing. The author gives a lot of detail about competitive figure ska...more
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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot...more
More about Kate Messner...
Over and Under the Snow Capture the Flag (Capture the Flag, #1) Marty McGuire The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Eye of the Storm

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