________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 18 . . . . January 10, 2014

cover

Striker.

David Skuy.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2013.
213 pp., trade pbk., hc. & epub, $12.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.) $9.95 (epub).
ISBN 978-1-4594-0513-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4594-0512-7 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4594-0514-1 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Mark Mueller.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Cody fought the urge to rub the back of his right leg. His mom got crazy worried if he so much as scratched only, it was really tight and it hurt. The doctor said it would feel better in time, the one thing he didn't have. He'd already missed one season because of the tumour. He couldn't miss another.


Cody is a 13-year-old is yearning to get back into playing soccer following a battle with cancer. After having a tumour removed from his right leg, Cody's been fighting an uphill battle to get back into shape. When he tries out for the Lions soccer team and makes the team as a "super sub" (a name one of his team members coined for themselves because they never get to play), Cody is secretly relieved. After a shake-up in the team management, Cody is forced to play in a tournament because he is one of the only players left. He is then put in a position where he must find the physical and psychological strength to play in spite of his recovering injuries. Towards the end of the tournament, it becomes apparent that Cody and his new friend, Paulo, are the perfect scoring duo. When the Lions make it to the finals, Cody must find the courage and strength to come clean to his teammates about his disease and to believe in his abilities to play the game.

      Striker is the latest book from the David Skuy, author of the "Game Time" hockey series and the award-winning novel Undergrounders. Striker is a fast paced novel about soccer that touches on sensitive issues such as cancer, bullying and racism. The fast-paced nature of the novel is both its strength and its weakness. While this reviewer enjoyed the scenes of the novel that depicted the intensity of the game, I also felt that Skuy could have spent more time on character development and exploring more in depth the sensitive issues he raised in the novel. However, I still think Striker is a good read and a fun novel for reluctant readers.

Recommended.

Mark Mueller is the Education Librarian at Tyndale University College in Toronto, ON.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364
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