________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 8 . . . . December 10, 2004


The Ghost of the Stanley Cup. (The Screech Owl Series, No. 11).

Roy MacGregor.
Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 2000.
118 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 0-7710-5622-2.

Subject Headings:
Hockey stories.
Stanley Cup (Hockey)-Juvenile fiction.
Ghost stories.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Liz Greenaway.

***1/2 /4



Nish's call, but clearly not his voice. It was Sam, pumping her fist and hollering at Nish.


Sam was swimming, strong and easily, towards the shallows where the raft was docked. She kept pumping her fist.


Travis could see Nish look up at them, his face filled with the painful knowledge that he had just been humiliated. Now they all knew he had chickened out of the climb. And now they all knew there had been nothing particularly brave or talented about his overboard ride down the river. Nish had just been out-Nished by Sam. He was a long way away, and there was heavy mist in the air, but Travis didn't need to see Nish's face clearly to be able to read it.

Total fury.

The Ghost of the Stanley Cup is the eleventh book in the popular series by hockey enthusiast and Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor. The books follow the Screech Owl hockey team as they participate in the Little Stanley Cup peewee tournament in Ottawa.

     During their trip, the team is given the chance to explore Algonquin Park and go river rafting. In addition, they are given a tour of famous ghosts in the area -- the ghost of a dead prime minister, the ghost of a man hanged for murder, and the ghost of painter Tom Thomson whose unresolved death remains a Canadian mystery. Even those readers whose lives do not revolve around hockey will be intrigued by the young stranger who offers to coach the team -- who is he and what is his connection to these ghosts?

     The book is well-crafted and plot-driven as it follows the team's adventures on and off the ice. Much of the book is filled with the good natured rivalries and hijinks between the players, but the ghostly presences add a supernatural dimension to the book. MacGregor lets most of these mysteries just hover in the air without complete explanation thereby heightening the suspense and mystery.

     As in most series, there is little in the way of introduction or set up of characters since many readers will already be familiar with the characters, but those just starting the series will have no trouble getting up to speed.

     Interested readers will find additional information on the team, the books, and hockey at www.screechowls.com. The web site also allows readers to write to Roy MacGregor.

     A terrific series for readers of all ages and genders.

Highly Recommended.

Liz Greenaway has worked in publishing and now resides in Edmonton, AB.

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

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