CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 2 . . . . September 16, 2005
One on One moves at a fast clip through the worlds of junior league hockey and the oilfields of Alberta to create a story that is distinctly Canadian. The games are rapidly sketched to draw in its young adult audience. Even with little knowledge of hockey, readers will not have trouble enjoying the play-by-plays as Beveridge explains many of the game's mysteries and rituals as the story unfolds: "Each of [the goalies] lifted his stick by way of acknowledgment and Sean did the same. The greeting was a unique gesture among goalies." The hockey storyline's immediate accessibility will persuade readers to continue through the more technical jargon of Alberta's oil production to an understanding about an important aspect of Canadian economics.
The accessibility of the story and its characters is also assisted by doses of humour, particularly between Sean and his rivals during try-outs: "Last year, every conversation with K.J. and Rudy had been an insult contest. It appeared that the tradition would continue." Sean's smirky sense of humour, in fact, contributes to his character's authenticity which becomes more and more real as he becomes torn between his own morals and his loyalty to his father.
Despite the high-interest topic of hockey, however, middle years students may not remain interested in this story because of the dense amount of oil-related scientific jargon: "Art had reported more fluid than anticipated and that fluid had tested at 13 ppm hydrogen sulphide." As a result, One on One is directed to sports-loving high school students.
Pam Klassen-Dueck is a Grade 8 teacher at Gillis School in Tyndall, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.