Books by Maureen Ulrich

POWER PLAYS by Maureen Ulrich
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

Hockey, bullying and friendship fill Canadian playwright Ulrich's first novel. Within six weeks of moving to Estevan, Saskatchewan, Jessie tangles with class queen Kim and finds herself subject to intense bullying, ranging from Coke spilled in her locker to Kim's setting a tough older girl on Jessie (which improbably results in Jessie's arrest). Strangely, when the principal becomes aware of the bullying, she gives Jessie some tips on how to handle it but otherwise does little to remedy the situation. As punishment for her arrest, Jessie's mother signs her up for the girls' hockey team, where Jessie makes real friends and starts to grow up. The games make for exciting reading, and the passion for hockey shines through the novel's flaws; unfortunately, the messages (stand up for yourself; girls should play on girls' hockey teams, not boys') weigh down the action. Jessie herself is inconsistently characterized and whines her way through the story, doing little to elicit reader sympathy. Readers where hockey is big will likely look beyond the problems; most others probably won't. (author's note) (Fiction. 13 & up)Read full book review >