by Jake Maddox (text by Lisa Trumbauer)
Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning
Maggie is jealous. Her sister Shannon is not only two years older, she’s two years better as a figure skater. Maggie’s friend insists that Maggie has a different style and her teacher says she is powerful. Still Maggie always feels like she is in Shannon’s shadow. Maggie hears the perfect song for her new routine but she keeps it a secret so she can have a little advantage. Then her instructor begins to add new moves and she finds out that Shannon has picked the special secret song that she wanted to use. She wonders if she will ever find out what kind of skater she is supposed to be.
Her teacher has good advice. Skate for the love of it and when she skates with heart, her true style will come out. That makes her think about her music choice in a whole new way and she goes with a rhythmic show tune that works best for her. When she scores well, Shannon surprises her by being her biggest fan.
Being true to yourself is a theme that is introduced early and often repeated. This is Maggie’s dilemma as she struggles to be good enough in her own eyes. She constantly compares herself to her sister and does not see that this is not a realistic comparison. Keeping a secret is not the way to deal with her jealousy either but a natural thing for a young person to attempt. Second graders will be able to relate to this competition between sisters and sports competitors.
The book includes discussion questions and writing prompts which could be easily adapted into a reading worksheet. The reading level is easy enough for a second grader to read this aloud.