Stranded on Thin Ice

Children - Adventure
168 Pages
Reviewed on 01/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Stranded on Thin Ice by Sharon CassanoLochman is a quick read for young adults and a story that will bring warmth to adult hearts as well, a story that combines coming of age and adventure to provide great entertainment to readers. Tanner Phillips is only twelve and, until now, he has enjoyed fishing the Oneida Lake Ice Fishing Derby every year with his father. He still remembers what happened last year when he lost the competition and his grandfather’s gear, and he is determined to make his father understand that he isn’t a small boy any longer, but one who can take the lead. The opportunity comes when, abandoned by his father to search for one of the competitors who goes missing, Tanner and his friend, Richie, get blown across the frozen lake by a snowstorm. Now Tanner has no time to think about proving himself to his father, but only surviving on thin ice.

A brilliantly plotted and intelligently written story that will thrill fans of the genre. Sharon CassanoLochman’s characters are strong and solidly developed. Readers will enjoy following Tanner, whose desire to prove himself fueled his determination to succeed during the competition. When faced with adversity and inclement weather, he learns to be resourceful and to work together with his friend to survive. The reader quickly learns to love the characters, anxious about their fate and rooting for them through every page. The writing is gripping and the scenes are well-written, deft and focused. There is a striking and well-accomplished balance in the writing, which combines interesting dialogues with great descriptions to create a smooth and enjoyable read. Stranded on Thin Ice will keep you turning pages the whole night.

Divine Zape

Stranded on Thin Ice by Sharon CassanoLochman is a compelling story that follows a twelve-year-old boy, Tanner Phillips, who enters a competition to prove to his dad that he isn’t just a kid, but is someone they can count on. He has always felt the need to prove himself after losing the competition and some of his grandfather’s gear a year ago. He is determined to show his skills this time on the ice and win the derby; however, things go awry when one of the competitors goes missing and another one is left with an injury. His father has to leave him alone with a new-found friend. It is then that the snowstorm hits, blowing away their hut and transporting Tanner and Richie across the frozen lake. With no means of communication, and trapped on thin ice, they must fight to survive. But do they have what it takes?

I loved this book and Sharon CassanoLochman’s characters, the engaging episodes of the fight for survival against the overwhelming elements of nature, and the adventure interspersed with colorful writing and vivid descriptions. Tanner comes out in these pages as a realistic character and readers will be thrilled to explore his emotions, the tension within him, and the eye-opening experience that teaches him the real value of growing up. The lesson that he never needed to prove himself to anyone is given in a personal, intimate manner — in his encounter with the brute force of nature. There is a lot of symbolism in this book and it is crafted with wisdom and compassion, a book with powerful lessons for young readers. Stranded on Thin Ice features great prose and sophisticated characters, the pacing is good, and the author has done a wonderful job in exploring the psychology of a teenage boy and the exciting paths that run through his life.