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Join Us for the release of E.L.Shen's new middle-grade, figure skating novel, The Comeback. E.L. will talk with 1980 Olympic pair skater Sheryl Franks about her new book, which is set in Lake Placid and examines racism, female rivalry and friendship, and the enduring and universal necessity of love and support.
E. L. Shen's The Comeback is a heartfelt, #OwnVoices middle-grade debut about a young girl trying to be a champ—in figure skating and in life.
Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however—she’s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?
E.L Shen is a writer, editor, and former figure skater. Originally from upstate New York, she currently resides in Manhattan.
Sheryl Franks is an American former pair skater who competed with Michael Botticelli. The couple won the bronze medal at the United States Figure Skating Championships four consecutive times (from 1977-80), won the Eastern US Pairs Championship in 1977-79, and placed ninth in the World Championships in 1977-79, and 10th in 1980. They finished seventh at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Franks subsequently became a skating coach, forming The Sheryl Franks Creative Skating Academy.