Tag Archives: hockey
3 Oct

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I first saw the cover on Twitter and, even then, not knowing much about Check Please, I knew I wanted to read it. I waited a few months for it to appear in my local public library’s catalogue. As soon as it did, I placed a hold.

It finally came and I brought it to school because I was hoping to talk about it with my kids. I did, but not for the reasons I thought.

You remember that old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, despite the cute cover – and cute illustrations throughout – this book is really not for 6th graders. The main character is a college freshman. There is some drinking and cussing and some mature themes. I held the book up for them to see and they all agreed it looked really appealing. I told them why I wouldn’t add it to our classroom library. And I told them that I bet some parent or grandparent somewhere will pick this book up for a middle or upper elementary school-age reader and someone will end up shocked. There isn’t anything really graphic, most of the mature stuff is implied. I told them I hoped they’d read it when they were a little older.

It was a very enjoyable graphic novel. It has an online presence and you can read some of it at this link: CHECK PLEASE!

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with posession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jackhis very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophmore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.

A sequel, Check Please! Sticks and Scones is expected next year. I look forward to reading it…at home.

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The magic of moonlight

17 Dec

I love this time of year – so dark, but lights everywhere and glittering trees in many windows. It all seemed so magical as a kid. As an adult, it warms my heart and makes me nostalgic.

Here is a lovely book that evoked the same feeling.

whenthemooncomes framed

Publisher’s Summary:  In this atmospheric story, a group of kids play hockey on a frozen lake by moonlight. At once nostalgic and timely, this is a gorgeous book that will speak to readers young and old.

More than just a number

11 Dec

I get weepy around Christmas time. My twin sister likes to send me Hallmark ads to see if I’ll cry. t’s always the good kind of cry, and I try to get her back. So imagine how surprised I was to find myself more than a little teary-eyed at the end of a picture book about hockey!  The Highest Number in the World is written by Roy MacGregor and beautifully illustrated by Geneviève Després.

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From the publisher: 9-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares a lucky number with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser: number 22. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number? Gabe’s grandmother soon sets her straight, though–from her own connection to the number 9 in her hockey-playing days to all the greats she cheered for who wore it, she soon convinces Gabe that this new number might not be so bad after all.

 What starts off as a simple story about a disappointed little girl becomes a much more complex and meaningful tale once Grandma starts sharing her story. Talk about girl power and historical context.

As a kid hockey wasn’t even an option for me. Where I grew up, girls didn’t play, we watched.  Hockey heroes were big for us. I loved watching Guy Lafleur skate down the ice hair flying (these were the days before mandatory helmets). In 1979, Roch Carrier, published The Hockey Sweater, which you can watch as an excellent National Film Board of Canada short here. The Highest Number in the World, feels like an homage to  The Hockey Sweater and girls in sports all at once. I’m going to be sure my twin sister reads this one. I bet she cries, too.

Hockey Night in Canada

13 Feb

Growing up we watched Hickey Night in Canada. For a while, when we lived in Abitibi Canyon and had on one TV station, that might be the only thing to watch. Stories and images of hockey permeate my childhood memories.

There are a couple of really great hockey related books I’d like to share with you today, to celebrate the Canadian Women’s Hockey team victory over the US last night at the Sochi Olympics.

First, and foremost there is Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater originally published in French as Le Chandail de Hockey.

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This is a great story, but can be hard to find. It was turned into a short film by the National Film Board

https://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater

As a kid I loved watching the Montreal Canadiens. It was the days before helmets and I loved watching my two  Guy Lafleur’s hair as he skated towards the net on a breakaway. I remember listening to Paul Henderson’s winning goal in the 1972 Canada Russia hockey series.

The NFB has a number of other short films about hockey that you can view HERE.

On a funny note, I remember being in the New Hamburg library in the late 70’s 80’s, looking at the rounders. There was a title that frequently intrigued me: Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E Kerr.

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I assumed it was about hockey and never checked it out. Years later, I realized it was about heroine, not slap shots. I still laugh at my folly. I was a rather naive child. It turns out that Dinky Hocker doesn’t shoot smack, but she sure could tell you a lot about kids who do. Just like I don’t write books, but like to think I can tell you about authors who do.

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