________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 12 . . . .February 8, 2008


Pink Power: The First Women's Hockey Champions. (Recordbooks).

Lorna Schultz Nicholson.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2007.
125 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55028-989-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55028-987-9 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Hockey for women-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Women hockey players-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Hockey-Tournaments-Canada-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-9 / Ages 9-14.

Review by Marilynne V. Black.

** /4



Shirley had grown up shooting pucks on outdoor rinks. She started playing hockey when girls wore figure skates. They shoved newspaper under their pants for shin pads. It was a long time before her teams started getting indoor ice time. When they finally did, they had to go on at eleven o'clock at night. Shirley was now 37 years old, [sic] there had never been a world championship in women [sic] hockey. Shirley clenched the letter. Only six women from Alberta would be trying out. She was one of six! She wanted to make it so badly. She was getting on in age for an athlete, and this would be her last hurrah. She would have to train hard.


The author, Lorna Schultz Nicholson, is obviously well qualified to write in this genre as she is a former sports journalist who brings a practiced eye to the text. The language is clear and concise. The majority of the sentences are short, sharp and bring the games to life. Such sentences as, "The pace was fast, the play tough. Bodies crashed against one another trying to get the puck. The boards rattled, the glass shook," lend a staccato beat to the paragraphs much like the play-by-play reporting of a game.

      Readers are introduced to the process of selection as well as the women and coaches who made up the first demo team. Sufficient background information about each is given to appreciate the sacrifices made in order to qualify and participate.

Dawn picked up her bag and checked the clock. It was midnight already. She had to get up at six for her job at Cobblestone Paving. Dawn had moved from Alberta for work, and now she juggled her job and playing hockey. She'd have to ask for time off from work

     The games leading towards their gold medal as the Women's World Hockey champions have sufficient play-by-play excerpts to lend the book excitement and immediacy. Separate chapters deal with the final round-robin game and the semi-finals while several chapters are devoted to the gripping final game against the U.S. team. In addition, the slow but steady groundswell in the media and with the public is documented from the unpopularity of the pink (rather than Canada's traditional red and white) uniforms to coverage by The Sports Network and sportscasting by Michael Murray and legendary Howie Meeker.

      The text is supplemented with photos. Unfortunately, they are not of the highest standard, or, because the book I reviewed is the paperback version, they did not reproduce as well as they might have in a hardcover book with better quality paper.

      The book is enhanced by an epilogue that briefly describes the move towards inclusion of women's hockey in the Olympics as well as what each team member is doing now. In addition, a glossary of hockey terms rounds out the book.

      Pink Power fills a gap for those who are interested in women's sports, especially hockey. In addition, it illustrates how hard female athletes have had to struggle to get the recognition, funding, and support allocated to males.

      Although the book jacket specifies ages 12+, the book is easily readable by younger children. Certainly the size of the print and the simple sentence structure will make this book accessible to middle elementary students.


Marilynne V. Black is a former B.C. elementary teacher-librarian who completed her Master of Arts in Children's Literature (UBC) in the spring of 2005. She is now working as an independent children's literature consultant with a web site at www.heartofthestory.ca.

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

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