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By Robert Hespe, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 8, 2010

The winter that Liza Yearns turned eleven was very sunny and very, very cold. The sky was blue day after day and the light was clear as crystal. Because no snow had come that year, the weather was perfect for ice skating. First the ponds froze and then the one large lake. Much later even the long wide river near Liza’s house would freeze as hard and bumpless as a pane of glass. A winter like this had not happened for many years and all the towns seemed to be on holiday. Chores, errands, homework, television, became unimportant, easy to ignore. The frozen waters, under a round blue sky, seized the imagination of the people of these towns. That winter they spent as much time on the ice as they did on the beach in the summer. Parents, grandparents, big kids and little kids skated, played hockey, ice-boated, cracked the whip, and even barrel jumped. That was the winter Liza learned to ice-skate.