Book review: Skate School: Going for Gold by Kay Woodward

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Welcome to the Winter Olympics...a place where dreams come true or simply vanish into thin air.

Frankie Wills, the shining star of Kay Woodward’s sparkling Skate School children’s series, has reached the last leg of her quest for gold – and needless to say, it’s put her into a spin.

The tale of an ordinary girl who loved to skate and turned into one of Britain’s best at a glamorous boarding school in the Swiss Alps has captured the hearts and imaginations of a legion of wannabe ice princesses.

In the fourth and final book in what has been a thrill-filled, figure-skating adventure, Frankie finds that competing at the highest level can bring you down to earth with a bump.

As she arrives at the Olympic village in Vancouver, Canada, with Team GB, 16-year-old Frankie has her sights set on just one prize, the women’s figure-skating gold medal.

Filled with a mixture of nerves and excitement, she knows that the only way she will win is to be totally, completely, mind-blowingly brilliant.

And there’s some tough competition out there...her arch-rival and team-mate Scarlett Jones rates herself as the favourite and the talented Canadian skater Sophie LeFleur is ruthlessly ambitious, particularly as she’s on home territory.

Unfortunately for Frankie, things start going wrong from day one. Her boyfriend Dylan, another GB skater, is being monopolised by the scheming Sophie and her confidence takes a blow after criticism from a callous coach.

But worse is to come when Sophie falsely accuses Frankie of stealing her treasured mascot in front of a bank of television cameras. Now everyone is blaming her for something she didn’t do.

As the biggest event of her life approaches, Frankie gets the feeling that she has lost the competition before it’s even started.

Will she be able to skate to the required perfection and will she manage to clear her name?

Going for Gold has all the sizzling suspense and high drama that we have come to expect from this top-class series. There are never any guarantees that Frankie will make it to the pinnacle of her sport and Woodward keeps us guessing to the very last pages.

The coolest read around for youngsters aged nine and over.

(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)