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Wayne Gretzky with Rick Reilly

Toronto, HarperCollins, 1990. 258pp, cloth, $24.95, cloth, $24.95
ISBN 0-00-215691-1. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Ed Somerville.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

All school or public libraries must have this book! Why? The reason in simply that patrons will demand material about Canada's most famous athlete. (I purposely overlook the fact that the "Great One" now plays for the Los Angeles Kings, because hockey is still, regardless of geographic location, an essentially Canadian game.)

This book satisfies the need for biographical detail on the man who personifies hockey. It contains insights on his childhood, his family - espe­cially on his relationship with his father Walter - his hockey career, and his marriage. But I must confess some disappointment. Where's the dirt? We need to know that Peter Pocklington is evil incarnate for trading our hero to Los Angeles. We need to know that behind that famous Glen Sather smirk lies an egomaniac who failed miserably in allowing the greatest hockey player of all time to leave Edmonton. Alas, none of this is revealed in Gretzky. The book emerges very much reflecting the personality and image of the author. Clean, upright and modest - almost to a fault.

As sports books go, this is a good read. We get some appreciation for the God-given talent with which no. 99 has been blessed. We also see the effort that has gone into cultivating that talent and the dedication that Wayne Gretzky has to the sport that has made him famous and wealthy.

The book's readability would make it suitable for upper elementary children. There are twenty-eight pages of colour photo inserts. The book is indexed. It will be popular. Order multiple copies.

Ed Somerville, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Red Deer, Alta.
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