________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 22 . . . . June 22, 2007


Timberwolf Hunt.  (Orca Echoes).

Sigmund Brouwer. Illustrated by Dean Griffiths.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
56 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-726-2.

Grades 1-5 / Ages 6-10.

Review by Jonine Bergen.

**½ /4


Tom and Johnny jumped up. They moved to another part of the stands. Just as they sat down, Eldridge Elwell skated into the Grizzlies' zone.

He fell. He got up. He chased the Grizzlies' center.

He fell.

He got up."The new player doesn't look that good," Johnny said. He wasn't being mean. He was just stating it like a fact.

"Yes," Tom said, "he needs some different equipment."

"What equipment?” Johnny asked.

"He needs a pillow on his butt," Tom said.


The new kid is definitely not working out for the Timberwolves. True, Eldridge is a nice guy and very friendly. But, he is a terrible hockey player - and he knows it. To compound the problem, Eldridge gets extra playing time because he is also the new coach's son.

     Tom and Johnny really want to make the playoffs in Sigmund Brouwer's new addition to his Timberwolves series, Timberwolf Hunt. They know they will be out of the running for the playoffs, however, if Eldridge continues to get extra ice time; especially if they keep getting benched for trying to talk to the coach. Coach Elwell is a big man with a big attitude. In fact, Coach Elwell's motto is, "Players don't tell coaches what to do. Sons don't tell fathers what to do."

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     The reader follows Tom's and Johnny's antics as they try to keep Eldridge off the ice. Eldridge, knowing he cannot talk to his father like the boys want, chooses a different approach to ensure he will not be playing hockey for a while. By doing so, Eldridge teaches the rest of the boys a lesson in tolerance and choice.

     As he did in the previous books in the series, Sigmund Brouwer illustrates his moral with physical humour and one-liners that have proven appeal with children. In Timberwolf Hunt, his characters consider what it means to be a friend while they place signs on backs and deal with a particularly smelly dog.

     The author does rely on the reader being familiar with the characters of Tom, Johnny and Stu from his previous books. He jumps directly into the narrative with very little characterization of the main protagonists. However, Dean Griffiths' black and white illustrations, found in each chapter, enhance the text by depicting the emotions of the boys throughout the tale. This is particularly important as it adds additional depth to the text which focuses primarily on the humour of the tale.

     So, what do a stinky dog, a missing skate and a desire to be part of the team have to do with getting the Timberwolves to the playoffs? Hockey lovers and pranksters will want to read Timberwolf Hunt to find out.


Jonine Bergen works at Westdale Junior High School in Winnipeg, MB, as a library technician.


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

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