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Scott Young

Toronto, HarperCollins, 1991. 130pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-00-647046-7. CIP

Grades 5 and up/Ages 10 and up
Reviewed by Walter Kalyn

Volume 20 Number 1
1992 January

This paperback is but a very small sample (five stories) of the work of well-known Canadian sports writer Scott Young. Most, if not all, of the stories probably date back to the 1950s and by the author's own admission are definitely "period pieces, a version of sports history telling the way games were played...." They definitely are not what sports stories are today! As such they are an interesting bit of nostalgia that will probably have the greatest appeal to older readers. Perhaps this is why the book is set in such large type — for those with failing eyesight. I really suspect that it was an attempt to make a respectable-sized book out of a rather meagre offering that would normally be a booklet.

The stories themselves are a pleasant read. They all involve a look at the personal life and conflicts of people involved in sports. They all have heart­warming happy endings but unfortu­nately are also all very predictable. No surprise endings here and very little of what today would be considered action. The stories are pure fiction and do not involve any known sports heroes or teams. They are very easy to read and could easily be handled by grade 5 and up students. However, because of the style and subject matter, I rather doubt that these stories would be popular amongst school-aged readers. They might have some value as class material with weak readers to provoke discussions of aging (the subject of several of the stories) or sports ethics. If you are looking for a sports story collection that will enjoy popularity in a school library, you had best look elsewhere.

Walter Kalyn, Regina, Sask.
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