Ice Dancing


Book: Ice Dancing

Author: Nicholas Walker

Publisher: Apple, republished 1994

ISBN-13: ‎978-0590467643

ISBN-10: 0590467646

Language level:  3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9 – 12

Rating: *** 3 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: General youth fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Walker,Nicholas.  Ice Dancing (Published in 1992 by Pan Macmillan Children’s Books, a division of Pan Macmillan Limited, 18-22 Cavaye Place, London, England SW109PG; republished in1994 by Apple Paperbacks, a division of Scholastic Inc., 730 Broadway, New York City, NY  10003).  Fourteen year old Alex Barnes lives in England with his parents and is in eighth grade at Mount’s Park School.  His best friend is Toby, and Alex loves to skate.  He plays ice hockey, does solo skating, and also participates in ice dancing.  However, his ice dancing partner Diane drops him, and he must find a new partner, so he asks Samantha Stephens, a new girl at school who transferred from a high class dance boarding school.  Samantha is determined to win the gold medal in ice dancing but must overcome several obstacles.   She thinks that Alex is a total wiseguy, her parents do not want her to skate, and there is some talented competition in Diane and her new partner Nigel.

     Why do Samantha’s parents forbid her to skate?  Will she and Alex ever learn to cooperate with each other?  And which couple ends up winning the gold medal?  Of all Winter Olympic sports, one that I have enjoyed watching the most is figure skating, especially when it was accompanied by the elegant commentary of Dick Button and Peggy Fleming.  However, I never cared much for ice dancing.  Those who are interested in ice dancing will likely enjoy this book. In addition to several common euphemisms (heck, gee, darn,) it is said a couple of times that someone “swore,” and Alex even used the “h” word once as an exclamation.  This is always disappointing, especially in books intended for children.  There are also references to school dances.  Otherwise, Ice Dancing is an interesting story.  With the reality and sharpness of the characters, both Alex and Samantha have attitudes but learn some important lessons.  Alex and Samantha’s adventures continue in Ice Princess.

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