The Comeback by E. L. Shen

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Comeback | E. L. Shen | Macmillan

Summary:  Maxine has Olympic dreams as she prepares for competition at her Lake Placid ice skating rink.  She’s pretty sure she can beat out most of the other girls in her age group until superstar Hollie shows up at the rink.  Meanwhile, Maxine is dealing with a lot at school: her ex best friend has a crush on Alex, a boy who has been making racist comments to Maxine about her Chinese heritage.  Maxine needs to make a comeback, both at school and on the ice, and will need all the confidence she can find within herself and from the people around her.  272 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Ice skating fans will enjoy this inside look at what it takes to train for national competition.  The friendship, school, and bullying lines add a lot to the story and would make it a good springboard for discussions.

Cons:  Maxine seemed like someone who would have a lot of friends at school, but other than her ex friend Victoria (whose friendship seems to have been based on the fact that their mothers were friends) she seems pretty alone.

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