________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 21. . . .June 12, 2009.


Skateboarding. (Crabtree Contact).

Andy Horsley.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3793-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3771-1 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Skateboarding-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-9 / Ages 8-14.

Review by Philip Bravo.





Many cities have skateparks with half-pipes, bowls, and other obstacles. Skateboarders use the obstacles to perform flips, spins, and grabs high in the air. Skateparks are ideal places to meet with friends. You can show off your new tricks. You can also see local heroes killing it on the obstacles.

Dinosaur park – Old, concrete skateparks that were built in the 1970’s.
Mini-ramp – A small halfpipe about 5 feet (1.5 meter) high.

The vert ramp is a big halfpipe about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) high. Helmets are pads are a must for this type of skateboarding. Vert ramps are where skateboarders learn to fly.

Every spring and summer, I spend at least part of the day asking teens to respect the “No Skateboarding” sign attached to the library’s entrance. Usually without incident, the children stop skateboarding in front of the library’s entrance, but before they leave with their shoulders slumped, I remind them that the library has some great resources about skateboarding. It is a hard sell, but a few avid skateboarders have begun to visit the library on a regular basis, board in hand. Andy Horsley’s book, originally published in 2001 by Raintree Steck-Vaughn, is a useful addition to any children’s collection, especially school and public libraries.

     The book describes the history, style, language and culture of skateboarding since its beginning in 1960’s. Divided into 15 chapters and a total of 32 pages (including the index), this book is written with the busy skater and reluctant reader in mind. The book is dominated by attractive and appealing chapter headings, titles, colorful graphics and images. Short sentences and paragraphs are scattered across the pages in boxes to allow the reader to sort through relevant information quickly and easily. Words in a bold typeface indicate that a definition is available in the glossary. The book offers useful advice about common skateboarding tricks, tips to excel in the sport and gain sponsorships. Those interested in more information about skateboarding may refer to the web sites addresses provided in the books last page.

     Although Skateboarding is written for reluctant readers, its high interest, low vocabulary content will appeal to any tween and/or older children looking for a quick introduction to the sport. I especially appreciate the inclusion of the graphic and text that warns the reader, as Andy Horsley put it: “In many places, it is illegal to skateboard. Look out for signs. Do not break the law.”

Highly Recommended.

Philip Bravo is a librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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