CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 21 . . . .June 24, 2005
Fourteen-year-old Peter has travelled a long way for a chance to play AAA Bantam hockey in Edmonton, and the tryouts are just the beginning of many challenges that he faces. Now that he has made the team, he has to move to the big city from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, and live with a host family. Peter's elation at making the team is soon replaced by fear, realizing that he will be attending a new school that is more than double the size of his school in Tuktoyaktuk and not knowing anyone. His host family, the Pattersons, do their best to make Peter feel welcome, but their daughter, Christine, has more than a few surprises in store for him. Peter soon finds himself being blackmailed by Christine, having a hard time keeping up with his schoolwork, and missing his own family and friends.
One rule that the coach enforces is that all of his players must keep up with school and get good marks, otherwise they will be cut from the team. Peter finds himself struggling, trying to keep up with the demands of school as well as an intense practice schedule. Christine volunteers to help Peter keep up with schoolwork, but only if he promises not to tell her parents that she is still meeting her boyfriend, whom she has been forbidden to see. Peter works hard at his game, but Christine's continued blackmail gets him in trouble on the ice and with the Pattersons, and he is forced to make one of the toughest decisions of all.
Although the story is enjoyable and text and dialogue appropriate for the age, the front cover is misleading to the readers. The central character is Inuit, yet the illustration portrays a Caucasian boy with dark, wavy hair. Would this story be less appealing if the picture showed an Inuit boy? There are current references to new hockey sports heroes, specifically Jordan Tootoo that will appeal to the younger hockey fans.
Rita Rebizant is an Educational Assistant in Hanover School Division and a teacher candidate in the B.Ed. program at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.