I have been watching a lot of the anime Yuri!!!On Ice lately because I really miss watching figure skating competitions. I miss the music, the choreography, the sparkle of the outfits, and the landings on each jump. It’s always different and exciting. Goodness, I really do miss it so much.
To share this love of figure skating though, I made a small reading list to help get others excited as well. I hope you enjoy these stories!
(Side note, I can’t actually skate. I have tried. Several times. I have terrible balance and zero grace. The only thing I am on ice is a complete disaster. )
Title: Every Reason We Shouldn’t
Written by: Sara Fujimura
What It’s About: Sixteen-year-old figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She’s bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of trying to live up to expectations of being the daughter of Olympians Michael Kennedy and Midori Nakashima…until Jonah Choi starts training at her family’s struggling rink.
Jonah’s driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying. and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia’s got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?
Written by: Sarah Ockler
What It’s About: Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances, a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life—and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last….
Title: Ana on the Edge
Written by: A.J. Sass
What It’s About: Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, isnota frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season”s program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success.
Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn”t correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he’s around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it’s tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.
Title: Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Peasprout Chen #1)
Written by: Henry Lien
What It’s About: Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating.
As the first students from the rural country of Shin to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout and her little brother Cricket have some pretty big skates to fill. They soon find themselves in a heated competition for top ranking.
Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals … and even some friends.
Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion.
Title: The Comeback: A Figure Skating Novel
Written by: E.L. Shen
What It’s About: Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however-she”s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?
Set in Lake Placid, New York, this is a spunky yet stirring middle-grade story that examines racism, female rivalry and friendship, and the enduring and universal necessity of love and support.
I wanted to end this post with a figure skating video I really love. It’s from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and features so many of the talented skaters that competed that year. They were such an amazing group and I remember tuning in and being so invested in everyone’s success.
Shoma Uno! Cha Jun-hwan! Keegan Messing! I hope to root for them the next time they skate. I am hoping to see them again soon.