________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 14 . . . . March 18, 2005

cover Interference. (Sports Stories; 68).

Lorna Schultz Nicholson.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2004.
94 pp, pbk. & cl., $8.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55028-822-9 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55028-823-7 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Hockey stories.
Diabetes-Juvenile fiction.
Frustration-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Glenys Martin.

*** /4


Josh scraped the ice on the side window with his fingernail. Where was his dad? He kept looking at his watch. He was going to be so late getting on the ice! Eight minutes passed before his dad slammed the front door shut.

"Sorry, Josh," he said, starting the engine.

"It's okay.." Josh looked straight ahead out the window.

"Your brother just infuriates me. He's wasting his talent. He's sixteen and he could be on his way to a college scholarship or juniors, even the pros it he'd put his mind to it." His father drove faster than normal.

"I'm not making a rink for him this year. He just doesn't deserve it."

Josh clutched the door handle, remaining silent. His dad went on and on about Matt. For as long as Josh could remember, his father had made an outdoor rink. Matt and Josh used it all winter, but last year, josh spent the most time on it. Mat was everything Josh wasn't - big, strong, fast and blond.

Josh was puny, skinny with red hair and freckles.

As they approached the arena, his dad headed to the front drop-off instead of the parking lot.

"Aren't you coming in?" asked Josh.

"Not today. I've got to go home and talk some sense into Matt. Do you think you can get a ride home?"

Written in the third person, Interference is an easy read story with a linear plot which covers the course of a few weeks. The main character is a preteen boy named Josh. Everything seems to be falling apart in his life. His father and older brother are in conflict, his hockey skills appear to be deteriorating, his grades are dropping in school and he is struggling to find energy. With all these things happening, he is craving personal support from his family, but it appears they do not have time for him. Josh knows he should talk to his parents about his lack of energy, extreme thirst, and problems with his eyesight, but he doesn't want to bother them. The entire family needs to reflect on their priorities when Josh is taken to the hospital by ambulance and is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

     The book is written with a simple plot in the present time frame. The viewpoint is that of a middle child wanting his parents' attention. His focus is on this need and not on the changes that he should recognize as warning signs that something is physically wrong with him. The story deals with real issue a young person could face while growing up.


Glenys Martin is a teacher at W.P. Sandin Composite High School in Shellbrook, SK.

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

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