CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 19 . . . . May 25, 2001
Before Trent decided to become a goalie just like me, everything had been different. The jacket I was wearing right now reminded me of that time. On one shoulder were stitched the words "Troy Peterson, Goalie." On the other shoulder "St. James Cougars." Just a few days ago, those words had meant something, had told me who I was. Now they were only a reminder of my failure. They were a lie I had been telling myself and my teammates.Troy has always hated the month of November. His brother's birthday comes early in the month, at which point Trent is the same age that Troy is. Troy likes being different from Trent, and this year he is having a particularly difficult time. Trent is catching up in more ways than one: he is taller than Troy, and, though he has never enjoyed playing hockey, he decides to go out for goalie, the position that Troy has always played. Troy's life revolves around hockey, and he regards his brother's decision to play in goal as petty and vindictive. The situation goes from bad to worse when Trent turns out to be a natural in goal. The new coach uses Trent as his starting goal in a tournament, and Troy fears that Trent is taking his place. If Troy is no longer the goalie, where does that leave him?
This book introduces siblings who have definite ideas about their relationships to each other, and then change that relationship. The development of Trent as a goalie forces both brothers to evaluate their own desires and reevaluate their brother. The resolution of the book is satisfactory, allowing both brothers to grow, both on and off the ice.
Danakas' story will likely attract hockey fans as its major audience, which is a disservice to this well-crafted tale of sibling rivalry. The publishers recommend this for kids up to age 13, and, while the reading level is slightly below this, it is a fast-paced and deft tale which would be good for slower readers.
Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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