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Review of the Figure Skating Book "Ice Charades"

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Ice Charades

Ice Charades

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The Bottom Line

Ice Charades: Penguins Behaving Badly and Other Follies From the Road is about a girl named Sue who decides to take a year off from college to skate in a professional ice show that tours Europe. The story is told in an entertaining narrative style. It is obvious that being in an ice show is not all that glamorous, but that there are also many fun, comical, and rewarding moments.
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  • Adult readers will find this book entertaining and funny.


  • This book is not appropriate for young readers.


  • Paperback
  • 328 pages
  • Published by CreateSpace in June of 2009
  • Written by Jenny Hall who toured for over 13 years in ice shows
  • The story takes place in 1983.

Guide Review - Review of the Figure Skating Book "Ice Charades"

Ice Charades is a novel about a fairly sheltered girl who joins an ice show that tours Europe. The book takes the reader behind the scenes. The story makes it clear that being in a professional figure skating show may not be all that glamorous, but there are also some fun and rewarding moments.

The book is told by "Sue," a 19-year old college student from Minnesota. In 1983, she takes a year off from college and joins "Follies on Ice," an ice show that tours Europe. She finds out that being in an ice show involves long hours of rehearsals, skating in a penguin costume, not so fancy hotels, low wages, and dreaded weekly weigh-ins. She makes friends with some of the people in the cast; she also experiences some conflicts and awkward moments. Sue’s year with the show unfolds in the book. At the end of the year, she decides that her ice show tour experience was really fun and wants to do it again.

"Sue" has led a very sheltered life, and perhaps becomes more "worldly" in the show. Those experiences may be entertaining to adult readers; however, "Ice Charades" is not appropriate for children or teens. Parents of young figure skaters may not want to allow their children to read this book.

The author of the book is Jenny Hall, a former competitive figure skater who skated in toured with ice shows for over thirteen years. Much of what is told in this story may have actually happened to the author. The reader will learn that ice show skaters do work very hard and put in long hours.

The book is told in a style that may not "grab" the reader's attention right away, but once the story unfolds, the reader will eventually be drawn in. Some readers have said that once that happens, the book is a "page-turner" that can't be put down.

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