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Breaking the Ice

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Kaitlin has always dreamed of being a champion figure skater, and she’s given up a lot to pursue her passion. But after having a totally uncharacteristic and decidedly NOT figure-skating-approved tantrum after getting her scores at a major competition she’s dropped by her coach and prestigious skating club.

When no other club in town will have her, she's forced to join the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Simon & Schuster/ Aladdin
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Jen Malone
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a lucky critique partner of Gail's and this book gets the gold medal! It's so much fun and Kaitlin is adorably flawed in a sport where perfection is demanded. I especially loved the insider glimpse into the world of figure skating, written by a former competitive skater, and I think girls will line up for this one! ...more
Brooks Benjamin
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know approximately this much *presses thumb and first finger together* about figure skating.

Okay, fine. Maybe less than that.

When I was given an ARC of Gail's book, I wasn't sure how much I was going to be able to understand about the moves and technical stuff that accompanies the sport. Worry set in. Before I even cracked open the cover, I wondered if I'd be doing myself and the author a huge disservice by reading it.

So I tried the first chapter.

The one where Kaitlin's just finished a routi
Jan 31, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mg-fiction
I'm so excited for Gail's debut! Check out its great new title: BREAKING THE ICE. ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cute--I've never read an ice-skating book before! And I tend to love what I call "inspirational sports books"--where people compete and learn life lessons. I love that books like this dive into the context in which these kids learn about friendship and honesty, so you can sort of get this individual sense of what they're doing in what environment, and you can sort of feel like you're there even if you know nothing about ice skating (like me).

I think I'll start with what I liked less or thought c
Ronni Arno
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sassy, smart, and suspenseful! You'll route for Kaitlin every step (and toe jump) of the way. This book was a delight to read, for both myself and my 12-year-old daughter! ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Cute. Deffo more middle-grade than I'm interested in (but I'm fond of gymnastics and skating books, and...they're easier to find at the middle-grade level than at higher levels), but with a nice emphasis on skating (skating! In a skating book! Miraculous!) and positive/platonic friendship. I found the romance quite tiresome (he's a thirteen-year-old rebel, man, who's been kicked out of more schools than he can count), but this is unsurprising considering that I find the romance in most MG/YA boo ...more
Rae Parker
Breaking the Ice takes readers inside the world of competitive ice skating. Kaitlin must start over at "Fall Down Club" after a major meltdown at an important competition. This book is full of humor as Kaitlin makes new friends, experiences her first crush, and faces unexpected challenges in this fun novel.
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sixth-grade skater Kaitlin Carter breaks a huge unwritten rule when she complains ever-so-loudly-and-rudely to the judges about her scores at a competition. Like a pressure cooker exploding, she can't help the frustration that spews forth when she fails to receive the place she knows she deserves. Her uncontrolled rant results in consequences that bring unexpected change to her life, a life that is focused on making it to Nationals, and eventually, the Olympics.
I didn't know much about the wor
Cindy Rodriguez
Remember Ashley Wagner's and McKayla Maroney's famous faces of athletic disappointment? Well, these moments are nothing compared to Kaitlin's tantrum after a skating competition that ends with medals on the floor and her expulsion from her training center. Kaitlin doesn't quit, though, and as she trains at the Falton Club, what's clear is she also doesn't want to be defined forever by a single moment. What's interesting, and often true, is that the trait that gets her intro trouble--her temper, ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kaitlin has always dreamed of being a champion figure skater, and she’s given up a lot to pursue her passion. But after having a totally uncharacteristic and decidedly NOT figure-skating-approved tantrum after getting her scores at a major competition she’s dropped by her coach and prestigious skating club.

When no other club in town will have her, she's forced to join the ridiculed and rundown Fallton Club, jokingly referred to as the Fall Down Club. At first Kaitlin thinks this is a complete di
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A lot of MG books I read don't have enough stakes but not this book. From getting kicked out of her prestigious skating club, to getting ridiculed for joining the "Fall Down" club, to learning a whole new program right before Regionals, Kaitlin's problems just keep piling on and on. And with so much to deal with, you would've expected her to curl into a ball and turn into sobbing mess. But not Kaitlin. Instead, she pushes on through, proving to us, once and for all, that winners never quit and a ...more
Brandy Painter
This is rather fun. It relies on familiar cliches and tropes, but it is engaging and all of those work together to tell a good story. It is a little too perfect and tidy in the end and there is a little too much technical detail about figure skating in it for those who don't really care about figure skating (me). It is a good one to add to a library or classroom collection that deals with friends, ambition, and working toward hard goals. ...more
Feb 01, 2014 marked it as to-read
My cousin wrote this YA novel!
Apr 04, 2019 added it
Julie Decker
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kaitlin is an up-and-coming preteen ice skater whose hopes and dreams of becoming Olympic-track come crashing down in one catastrophic moment of poorly chosen words. Now that Kaitlin has succumbed to an emotional outburst that led to her coach dropping her and getting kicked out of the skating club, she's forced to join the least prestigious club in the area and worries that she'll be a laughingstock. But the kids at Fallton teach her some important lessons about what friendship is, so she finds ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kaitlyn is dedicated to figure skating and to going to Nationals... until she does poorly at a competition and yells at the judges! Not the sort of behavior expected of skaters, so her club and her coach drop her. Since her mother has quite her job in order to home school Kaitlyn so she can devote time to skating, they find another club and coach, but since it is Fallton (aka "fall down"), they are less than thrilled. Once Kaitlyn gets used to the people, she finds that most of them are nice, wi ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Summery- There is a girl named Kaitlin and she loves to skate. She always wanted to be in the Olympics. She was in a competing and she got made when she got in 11th place. Then she got kicked off the team and had to go to a guy named Greg. He didn’t know if she would be good. Then she was so good she got to pick her own reteam. Then at the end of the time they had practice they had to do a champion ship and then she WON. After they won Addison wanted to be her friend and became friends.

Main char
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down as a thirty-something, so I'm sure I would have been even more enraptured as a middle-schooler. Kaitlin is an ice skater coming of age and finding her own amidst the challenges of figuring out her own responsibilities and commitments, all while learning how to be a better competitor, friend, daughter and skater. She has an inner creativity and confidence that is inspiring. Many of Kaitlin's emotions and struggles brought me right back to my middle school years - her ...more
Jen Brooks
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read an ARC of this book as a member of the Fearless Fifteeners. Kaitlin is a promising figure skater with Olympic dreams threatened by an uncharacteristic outburst at a skating competition. The consequence is she must leave her skating club for Fallton (aka the “Fall Down” club). In her new skating home, she discovers things might not have been better in her old club after all. This charming book follows Kaitlin as she deepens her understanding of what it means to perform on the ice, to have ...more
Ann Jacobus
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kaitlin suffers an unthinkable humiliation but through hard work, learning from yet more mistakes, and a little help from her friends, family and coaches, she proves what she's made of. A perfect, action-packed read for any middle grade kid (male or female!) who wants to experience the figure skating world in all it's glamour, grueling work, back biting, crushes, failures and triumphs. ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW! What an awesome story! I honestly did not want it to end! I could see every young girl loving this book! I am so proud of my niece and can't wait to read more of her work! "Tango on!" ...more
Nov 11, 2014 marked it as to-read
I didn't read it yet but I plan on it soon! Thank you so much for the book!! ...more
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book is really cute and it teaches people to give other people second chances
Ms. Patterson
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a while to get reading on this book. At the start I really disliked Kaitlyn. She seemed snooty and thought she was so much better than the other kids at her new skating club. As time progressed, she became more human for me and I liked how she admitted her role in the Zamboni accident and the party before competition. Things tied up a little too neatly for my satisfaction. I guess I wanted some drama left at the end, rather than an idyllic end. This book is perfect for tweens and youn ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle-school girls
Breaking the Ice is a solid but not outstanding MG read. Kaitlin's character development was good, and the world of prestigious figure-skating clubs was made accessible to non-skaters nicely without being oversimplified, but some plot points/actions felt a bit contrived/out of character. ...more
Ginger Rogers
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Accidentally gifted , not read
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun read for kids. Set at the ice rink for the most part, the action is centered around all of the things kids of that age struggle with: family, friends, competition, flirtations. I recommend this book!
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I love books about figure skating. It's odd, considering I don't do it, and probably never will, but for some reason these books just attract me over and over again. Chances are if I read a book about figure skating, I'll love it. And that's what happened with Breaking the Ice.

I was immediately sucked in to Kaitlin's story. She's a likeable character, and realistic too. One big mistake she makes nearly ruins her, and she has t
Corabel Shofner
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gail Nall Skates on Smooth Ice

Okay, admit it. When the winter olympics come on television we all race to the ice skating competition. The lovely skaters become national heros and the disappointments and even heartless scandals, such as Tonya Harding break our hearts. Skating is grace and strength on ice. We love it. BREAKING THE ICE takes us behind the scenes, to the lives of young people dreaming of becoming the next olympic gold medalist and Gail Nall has personal experience. She grew up skati
Katie Fitzgerald
Kaitlin longs to perfect her figure skating program and win a spot at Nationals. Unfortunately, she loses her temper at a competition and insults the judges, after which she is dropped by both her coach and her skating club. Now the only club that will take her on is Fallton, nicknamed Fall Down, which is home to a group of misfit skaters, known for blowing it at competitions. At Fallton, Mia's new coach encourages her to connect emotionally with a brand-new tango-inspired skating routine, while ...more
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Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the Aladdin/S&S middle grade novels OUT OF TUNE, BREAKING THE ICE, the YOU'RE INVITED series (co-authored with Jen Malone), and BEST.NIGHT.EVER. (co-authored). She is also the author of the young adul ...more

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