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Brunt, Stephen
Toronto, Key Porter Books, 1993. 64pp,
paper, $16.95, ISBN 1-55013-5147. CIP

Subject Heading:

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Marsha Kaiserman

Volume 22 Number 2
1994 March / April

In order to be memorable, a sports book must be informative and interesting and display a love of the game b eing described.  Power Plays! almost achieves this.

It is informative, providing tips on skating, shooting and passing, as well as trivia on records, players and customs, such as why octopuses are thrown on the ice in Detroit.  Power Plays! is interesting, with lots of colour and black-and-white photographs, and a good mix of stories and stars from past and present eras. It even includes hockey tattoo transfers. It is in the last criterion mentioned above, however, that this book fails.

Stephen Brunt, a respected sports columnist with the Toronto Globe and Mail, has written a sports book that just misses the mark. This is a well-researched book without any passion. While this might be explained by the fact that the book is so short and so much had to be crammed into it, there still could have been some excitement in the writing. The history of the National Hockey League has many memorable events from the first Stanley Cup to the recent story of Mario Lemieux and his battle against Hodgkin's disease. Unfortunately, Brunt tends to gloss over these stories in one or two sentences. In doing this he fails his readers.

Despite this shortcoming, the pictures alone make this book worth buying for the kids.

Marsha Kaiserman is Conferences Cataloguer with the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information in Ottawa, Ontario

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