________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 6 . . . . November 16, 2001.

  Blue Ice.

Estelle Salata.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001.
124 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-55041-546-8.

Subject Headings:
Roller hockey-Juvenile fiction.
Teamwork (Sports)-Juvenile fiction.
Children of unemployed parents-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Betsy Fraser.

*** /4


It took a moment for the words to sink in. They wanted him to play for Village Green. Nick should have jumped up and down for joy. Wasn't this what he had wanted, dreamed about, thought about every single day? To be back in Village Green and playing with his old team? But tonight had been different. Even though the Phantoms had lost the game, Nick felt as though he belonged with them. His shoulders straightened as he looked into Baranski's eyes.

"A month ago I would have said yes," Nick admitted. "But I want to stay with Northwood, Mr. Baranski. They're my team now." Suddenly, he knew it was true. With all their faults and stupid mistakes, the Phantoms were his team.

Nick is sure that his life is going all wrong. After his father lost his job, he stopped caring about anything. The family had to sell their house and move to a house in a neighborhood that didn't compare with the old one. Nick even had to leave his inline hockey team. When he is invited to join a street tournament, he is surprised when the determination and guts of his new team manages to beat his old team, the Cyclones. He finds out that he can make a difference to his new team members and feels that things are starting to get better. He is sure that he doesn't want to rejoin his old team, but when the coach promises to rehire his father, will he have to sacrifice his new position for his family?

      Salata has written a fast-paced novel that will have a wide appeal. Its language will allow it to appeal to a younger audience while the subject matter and struggles that plague the main character will keep older children interested. Nick has an interesting problem: play for the people with whom he can make a difference, and with whom he has come to belong, while sacrificing his father? Or, instead, should he sacrifice himself? The ending, while pat, will satisfy readers young and old alike.


Betsy Fraser is a librarian with the Calgary Public Library.

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