Even if the book becomes a bit of a salmagundi, one page or another will find a follower.

READ REVIEW

HOCKEY

THEN TO WOW!

A gallimaufry of goodies about hockey.

It is possible that hockey has the greatest range of enthusiasts. It has crossed gender and race lines (though neither is given sufficient page space here), and it is way up there in the cosmopolitan makeup of its rosters. The result is that when you throw together a grab bag of hockey angles, you are going to draw from a wide pool of buffs to fanatics. The then-and-now aspect to this collection is a nifty approach, depicting changes in equipment, uniforms, styles of play, etc., in themed double-page spreads. Eye-catching photographs appear throughout, though the writing could use some pizzazz: “An avid animal lover, the Sharks’ defenseman frequently visits zoos on road trips.” Readers will sit agog that players wore wool jerseys and didn’t wear helmets (and had the scars and the empty gums to prove it) and that goalies went without masks. Changes in tactics and game play help readers follow the action on the ice. As the book approaches the end, it loses its focus. Card collecting has its place, but difference in player size now and then seems arbitrary, if not pointless—a 7-foot defenseman is hardly a typical player—and playoff beards…well, if that’s what blows your hair back, so be it.

Even if the book becomes a bit of a salmagundi, one page or another will find a follower. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68330-011-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Sports Illustrated Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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During the Great Depression, women's ice-hockey teams across Canada fought an uphill battle to scrape together enough money...

QUEENS OF THE ICE

In the 1930s, the Canadian female ice-hockey team called the Rivulettes dominated the ice.

During the Great Depression, women's ice-hockey teams across Canada fought an uphill battle to scrape together enough money to play. From 1931-1940, the Preston Rivulettes, led by Hilda Ranscome, overwhelmed all other teams, capturing the national title in the four years that they could afford to travel far enough to compete for it. With the pressure of the war, and because they were no longer capturing fan enthusiasm since they always won, the Rivulettes disbanded in 1942. After the war, the culture had changed, and women’s ice hockey nearly disappeared until a recent rebirth. This effort describes in detail many of the key games the team played over that decade and the way that their remarkable record has been largely ignored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Though the book effectively captures the scrappy nature of the games (with numerous penalties in each for high sticking and fighting), disappointingly, it lacks any significant biographical information on team members. Only a couple are very briefly sketched. Readers will wonder what made this team so great; more information about the players might have provided key insights.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55277-721-3

Page Count: 136

Publisher: James Lorimer

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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DANCING WHEELS

A stereotype about people with disabilities is shattered by this introduction to a dance company known as Dancing Wheels, a group composed of “sit down” and “stand-up” dancers. The story begins with Mary Fletcher-Verdi, born with spina bifida, a condition that causes weakness in the legs and spine. Mary always wanted to dance, and, encouraged by a family who focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t, she studied the art and eventually formed a mixed company, some who dance on their legs, and some who dance in wheelchairs. What she accomplished can be seen in this photo journal of the group’s dance workshop in which beginners and experienced dancers study and rehearse. Along the way, McMahon (One Belfast Boy, 1999, etc.) intersperses the history of the group, some details about the dancers, their families, and the rehearsal process that leads up to the final performance. Three children are featured, Jenny a wheelchair dancer, Devin, her stand-up partner, and Sabatino, the young son of Mary’s partner. The focus on these youngsters gives the reader a sense of their personalities and their lives with their families. Godt’s (Listen for the Bus, not reviewed, etc.) color photographs detail every aspect of the story and show the dancers at home and in rehearsal, interacting with each other, having fun, and finally performaning. They convey the dancer’s sense of joy as well as the commitment to the dance as an art form felt by the adult directors and teachers. An excellent book for helping children and adults expand their understanding about the abilities of the “disabled.” (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-395-88889-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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