Today she's here to talk about winter! And her latest book, SUGAR and ICE, a middle grade novel about a girl athlete with a dream about a winter sport. And who doesn't love books like that?
By Kate Messner:
When you live where I do, outdoor winter sports are a part of life in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s not that we don’t feel those –30 degree wind chill temperatures; it’s just that most of us know how to bundle up and appreciate the brighter side of bitter cold.
My new figure skating novel for young readers, SUGAR AND ICE, takes place in Northern New York State and is about a girl from a small-town maple farm who earns a scholarship to train with the elite at Lake Placid’s Olympic Center. Before the action turns to drama on the ice, though, there’s a scene set on the family’s maple farm, where Claire has grown up skating on the cow pond with her cousin.
Some people who have read early copies of SUGAR AND ICE have asked if we really skate on the frozen ponds and lakes in the winter time, and the answer is… well, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Not only do we venture outside on some of the coldest winter days; we long for those temperatures to drop when winter arrives. It takes the perfect mix of bitter cold overnight temperatures, still winds, and a few days without much snow to turn Lake Champlain into a giant skating rink.
Sometimes, it’s a rink that needs shoveling, but it’s well worth the effort! Later on, when the snow is too well packed to be swept away, we turn to cross country skiing past the ice fishermen, a scene that Claire would appreciate, I’m sure.
Readers of my blog shiver, I know, when I share some of these pictures. “How can you go outside in that?” my California friends write. But take a look…
If winter looked like this where you live, wouldn’t it be hard for you to watch it pass by from inside? I feel like Claire and I are kindred spirits in a lot of ways…waiting and waiting for that first good freeze so our seasonal rinks can open for business.
Want a personalized, signed copy of SUGAR AND ICE?
The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid is hosting a SUGAR AND ICE launch party from 3-5 pm on Saturday, December 11th, so please consider this your invitation if you live in the area! If you can’t make it but would still like a signed, personalized copy, just give the bookstore a call at (518) 523-2950 by December 10th. They’ll take your order, have Kate sign your book after the event, and ship it out to you in plenty of time for the holidays.
‘SUGAR AND ICE
Junior Library Guild Selection