Books by Crystal Bowman

IVAN AND THE DYNAMOS by Crystal Bowman
Released: March 1, 1997

Andy Anderson, 11, is unhappy when he learns that he's been traded to Coach Lou Richards's team in the Squirt division of his local hockey league, but his anxieties soon prove unnecessary. Coach Lou dreams up the idea of giving his players scary Russian names, and turns out to be every boy's ideal: a big-hearted, patient, high-spirited guy who never blows his stack and who ends the season with a pizza party at the local bowling alley. While Coach Lou might sound too good to be true, he blends in nicely with the rest of the too-good-to-be-true realm; except for the references to rap music and in-line skates, the setting bears little resemblance to contemporary America. Bowman is at her best when describing the action on the ice, but the rest of this reads like a sugar-coated fantasy: Andy's family—parents, cute younger sister, athletic older brother—moved across town last year for a reason that defies reality for most readers: to be nearer the tennis club where Andy's brother plays. Andy's parents, with their straight-A, church-going son, are infinitely patient; Andy's pals are tagged with names like Mike Hanson, Jamie Jones, Duffy Conners, Billy Peterson, Denny Smith, and Jimmy Cleaver, and none of them emerges from the pack. (Fiction. 9-11) Read full book review >