________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006


Hockey Superstars: All-Time Greats!

Paul Romanuk.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2005.
48 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 0-439-95232-8.

Subject Headings:
Hockey players-Biography-Juvenile literature.
National Hockey League-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by John Dryden.

*** /4



"People used to say I was a natural. Nobody's a natural," said Paul [Coffey]. "You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It's hard to stay on top."


Paul Romanuk's latest hockey annual is subtitled All Time Greats. This issue is packed with heroes from what Romanuk labels as his own 'Golden Age of Sports.' The book is organized alphabetically by the player's last name and includes: Syl Apps, Jean Beliveau, Mike Bossy, Ray Borque, Paul Coffey, Ken Dryden Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Doug Harvey, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Howie Morenz, Bobby Orr, Jacques Plante, Denis Potvin, Maurice Richard, Patrick Roy, and Darryl Sittler. As with the other issues in this series, there is not a table of contents or an index. Included in the back of this book is a two page spread titled 'Major NHL Awards and Top Winners' where the awards and the top winners are listed. There is also a two page spread entitled 'NHL Records’ where the top ten all time goal, point, shutout and win leaders are listed, as well as a 'Teams with the most Stanley Cups.' The last page in the book is a black line master page which invites readers to create a list of their own 'all-time greats' at each position (caution to librarians!).

     The 'player' pages are laid out identically to one another. There is a one page biography and quotes that are laid out on the left hand page and a full page photo of the player along with his career stats located on the right hand side. Each page includes a quote that describes the player’s approach to the game he loves. This quote is often broad enough that it could be used to help inspire the readers’ day to day lives. Also included is a "Did you know?" item which provides some trivia about each player. These features fill out the book’s qualities and reach out to the casual browser.

     Hockey Superstars is an excellent read. Romanuk has written an easy-going, easy to follow book sure to please any hockey fan. This book might even turn someone who likes hockey into someone who loves hockey due to the way it presents each 'all-time' great player. All-Time Greats shows the full character of hockey players who have finished their careers. This quality is what sets this book apart from the earlier annual Romanuk's titles. Only one player in the book is still playing (Mario Lemieux), and all the players in the book are used as a showcase to the true grit, guts and glory that players had both on and off the ice.


John Dryden is a teacher-librarian at Khowhemun Elementary in Duncan, BC.

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

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