________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 12 . . . . February 18, 2000

Hockey's Hottest Series.

James Duplacey.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1999.
32 pp., pbk., $6.95.

Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.
Review by Deborah Mervold.

**** /4


ISBN 1-55074-681-2.

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


ISBN 1-55074-683-9.

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


Wayne Gretzky

There is no greater nickname for Wayne Gretzky than "the Great One." He has more assists than the next leading scorer has points.

Gretzky has also set or tied more than 60 NHL records. But there is more to the Great One than numbers. Watch Gretzky as he plays. You will notice that he always seems to know where the puck is going. When he was young, Gretzky often watched hockey games on TV. He would put a sheet of tracing paper over the screen. Then Gretzky used a pen to trace the path of the puck. He studied the paper. Gretzky memorized how the puck moved.

These 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.

Highly Recommended.

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.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364