CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 13 . . . . February 28, 2003
The play-by-play action of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 makes for a good read, and the author of coach Danièle Sauvageau’s biography succeeds in capturing the excitement of the series. Author Sally Manning is at her best when she describes the action-packed hockey games including the finale watched on television by over seven million Canadians. Although this book is a biography of Danièle Sauvageau, there are excellent brief profiles of many of the women on the team, and Manning does a good job of highlighting the different paths that each took, from the fun days of playing hockey with the boys to developing a passion for the sport that grew into the commitment required to work for a chance at earning Olympic gold.
In general, the personal story of Danièle Sauvageau’s career as a coach is well-written and the author nicely inserts details on the history of women’s hockey into the narrative. It is obvious that the author did quite a thorough job of researching the sport, the players, and the coach’s story, which was written with Danièle’s cooperation. The cover of this paperback is very attractive and is unapologetically patriotic. The bright red maple leaf and Canadian flag framing a photo of Danièle and two Team Canada players succeed in grabbing the reader’s attention. The work would be a useful addition to many thematic displays (Sports, Careers, Canada Day, Role Models/Leadership, Olympics) in a school or public library setting.
There are black and white photos throughout. Although colour photos would have been a nice addition, this would have added to the cost of this book published by the small press, General Store Publishing House. The lack of colour photos does not detract from the overall quality of the book. Approximately half the photos are candid shots of Danièle and are a great addition to the text. The only drawback of this biography I found was in the chapter on Danièle’s career with the RCMP. The text and photos in this chapter are rather uninspiring in comparison with the chapters focusing on her coaching career, although both are exciting careers requiring lots of hard work.
As with any good sports book, the author concludes the book with several pages of statistics on the winning team and the Olympic series that saw Canadians celebrate the women’s victory. If you think your library patrons include any of the estimated 60,000 girls and young women playing in Canadian hockey leagues or their parents or a young Hayley Wickenheiser in the making, then this book is a good bet for your collection.
Janice Linton is the Aboriginal Health Librarian at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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