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KING OF THE ICE by Kelly Starling Lyons


From the Miles Lewis series, volume 1

by Kelly Starling Lyons ; illustrated by Wayne Spencer

Pub Date: July 19th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-38349-0
Publisher: Penguin Workshop

A first-time ice skater frets about an upcoming field trip to the rink.

When Miles’ friend RJ bets that Miles can’t skate without falling, Miles reluctantly accepts the challenge. After school, Miles learns that his nana, who lives with his family, was an ice skater when she was young; she tells him that though, as a Black woman, she didn’t see many skaters who looked like her on TV, she wanted to change that. At dinner, his father, a Black history professor, tells Miles about Willie O’Ree, the first Black man to enter the National Hockey League, and Miles researches O’Ree online. But soon Miles’ world begins to spiral out of control—a rift grows between him and RJ over the bet, and when he sees flyers for luxury apartments for seniors, he fears that Nana is thinking of moving. Readers of Lyons’ Jada Jones books will recognize her friend Miles in this new series spinoff. Miles is a smart, sensitive character in an all-too-relatable scenario: navigating friendship and learning to speak up for himself. Miles’ tightknit, multigenerational family exudes warmth, and Lyons deftly folds in information on a little-discussed but important Black trailblazing athlete. Bringing to life the text are black-and-white illustrations with pops of blue. Miles and his family are Black.

A thoughtful protagonist makes his series debut; sports lovers and the athletic-averse alike will be charmed.

(biographical information about Willie O’Ree) (Chapter book. 6-8)