________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007


Timberwolf Revenge. (Orca Echoes).

Sigmund Brouwer. Illustrated by Dean Griffiths.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2006.
56 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-544-2.

Subject Headings:
Hockey stories.
Revenge-Juvenile fiction.
Practical jokes-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Jonine Bergen.

**1/2 /4



Tom won the face-off in the Cougar's end. The puck went back to the defenseman. A Cougar forward charged toward the defenseman. The defenseman couldn't get a shot on the net. He fired the puck toward the corner. The puck skipped past a couple of players and went to Tom, who was standing behind the net


Tom, Stu, Johnny and the boys are in Calgary for a hockey tournament in Timberwolf Revenge, the second in the Howling Timberwolves books which are part of the "Orca Echoes" series. A practical joke played by Tom on Johnny springboards the boys into a rivalry of one-upmanship on and off the ice. Johnny is intent on getting back at Tom while protecting his prized hockey stick signed by all the members of the Calgary Flames team. The plot follows Tom and Johnny's attempts to play additional practical jokes on each other while Stu, wisely, tries to remind them that revenge is always a bad idea.

     Brouwer uses physical humour and situations that encourages a child to keep reading. Children will definitely enjoy the practical jokes played. However, the funny mood of the story is dampened by the repeated moralizing of the author through the character of Stu. I think Stu repeats the moral - revenge is a bad idea - at least once in every chapter of the book. The reader will not be surprised, then, that, by the end of the book, Johnny does learn that Stu is right.

 internal art     Brouwer used descriptive language effectively to bring suspense and interest to the action. His hockey scenes, for example, help the reader focus on the rivalry between Tom and Johnny. Though Brouwer is a very good writer and the rivalry between Tom and Johnny provides an excellent vehicle to develop the characters in the Howling Timberwolves series, I found the moralizing too distracting to really enjoy the plot.

      I was going to give Timberwolf Revenge two stars, but my co-reviewer, a 10-year-old boy, convinced me to change this rating. He read the book in two sittings and wrote: "I really liked the book Timberwolf Revenge. I read the whole book. I don't really like hockey, but the story was still interesting. It was exciting at some points. The message is that 'revenge is a bad idea.' It was funny too, and the funniest part is when one boy put honey in another boy's bed. I would probably read this book again, because it was so good and I liked it."


Jonine Bergen works at the Millennium Library while completing the Library Technician program at Red River College in Winnipeg.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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