CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 12 . . . . February 18, 2000
Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.
Wayne GretzkyThese two titles are part of a series on "Hockey's Hottest" players. James Duplacey, the former curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame, is the author of many books about hockey. Both Hockey's Hottest Defensemen and Hockey's Hottest Centers include 15 players whose entries are organized alphabetically. Each player is given a double-page spread which includes action photos plus a "headshot." A pullout center section, in banner format, reproduces the illustrations and contains, on its reverse side, the mailing addresses and websites for all of the NHL teams.
The text about each player is clear, concise and suitable for younger readers. While the information about each player is brief, it is sufficiently detailed that readers will learn something about each of the players. In particular, the text provides reasons as to why the various players are considered important to the game and how they serve as role models. Sometimes, quotations by a player or his teammates are included to illustrate the defenceman's or center's qualities. Each spread is colourful and has borders around the text. Illustrations are framed and positioned for interest on the page. One sentence in darker print is included for each player to emphasize his importance. For example, Adam Oates is examined as a "playmaker," and the one sentence descriptor reads, "Oates is great at setting up goals." Younger or reluctant readers would be able to read just the descriptor and enjoy the illustrations without having to read the entire text. The "Table of Contents" and the book's alphabetical organization make the text easy to use for either reference or general pleasure reading.
The two books can be enjoyed on many levels and, because of their appealing format, would be excellent additions to libraries and personal libraries for reluctant readers and hockey fans in the middle years.
Deborah Mervold is a teacher-librarian in a grade 5-12 school and a grade 12 English teacher at W.P. Sandin Composite High School in Shellbrook, SK.
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