An opportunity to participate in an ice hockey league soon leads to drama for fourth-grader Sylvie.
In this second lively adventure (The Best Friend Battle, 2015), Sylvie returns with another dilemma. This time, a sports rivalry carries over onto the ice when Sylvie discovers that Jamie, a formidable pitcher from the winning championship baseball team, is on Sylvie’s new hockey team. With pluck and determination, Sylvie sets her sights on becoming the team captain. While Sylvie’s attempts to impress her coach with her captainlike behavior result in some comical moments, Eyre reveals how Sylvie’s bid for leadership is intertwined with her yearning to spend more time with her dad. She poignantly conveys Sylvie’s efforts to claim some of her father’s time amid the bustle of their expanding family. Eyre also captures Sylvie’s boisterous, confident personality as she resolutely refuses to be daunted by Jamie and her perseverance as she strives to improve her hockey skills. Throughout the text, Hanson’s illustrations depict Sylvie’s escapades and occasional mishaps. Readers will sympathize with Sylvie as she becomes the victim of a series of pranks during practice, and they will understand her desire to retaliate. Though some will probably also understand that not all is as it seems, readers as well as Sylvie will benefit from the message that it’s all too easy to make unwarranted assumptions.
Readers will appreciate watching Sylvie determinedly working toward her goals. (Fiction. 7-10)