________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 9 . . . . December 22, 2006


The Face-Off Phony. (Slapshots #3).  

Gordon Korman.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2000.
144 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-93871-6.

Subject Heading:
Hockey stories.
Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.
Review by Georgie Perigny.
**** /4 


Trent shook his head. “It’s tricky, Chipmunk. A lot of people still think that Mars doesn’t belong in the Slapshot League. If we accuse Steve, and we’re wrong, they’ll call us troublemakers.  They might even use it against us to force the Stars out of the League for next year.”


Not only do the kids from the town of Mars have to put up with alien jokes, the Mars Health Food Stars hockey team started off as the town joke. However, the team turned things around and became the Cinderella story of hockey. That was until their losing streak. Lucky pennies, rabbit’s feet and other superstitious habits could no longer help the Stars. Twelve-year-old Gazette sports reporter, Clarence ‘Chipmunk’ Adelman knows that something must be done. After researching the statistics, Chipmunk realizes that the Mars’ hockey team may still have a chance of getting into the playoffs. If they can finish the regular season with three straight wins, they might have a chance for the number eighth playoff spot. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Oiler’s newest hotshot player, Steve Stapleton, has helped the team become undefeated, and the Stars will need to beat them in order to remain in the playoffs. 

     Chipmunk finds himself in an interesting situation as his detective skills enable him to uncover the truth about the Steven Stapleton. The only problem is he needs to convince the Stars players as well as the president of the Slapshot League that Stapleton is a phony. Will Chipmunk be able to expose Stapleton’s secret before the playoffs? Will the Stars clinch the eighth position in the playoffs?  It all comes down to the final game that is sure to make Waterloo Slapshot League history. Chipmunk finds himself in a hockey adventure, one which takes a few turns of events for which he is not quite prepared.   

     The Face-off Phony is cleverly written to amuse the reader. The book brings the excitement of the sport of hockey to another level. Korman has the ability to entice young readers, keep them interested and wanting to read more. This book is a page-turner as one exciting event after another unfolds. The Face-off Phony is a humorous fictional sports story that has its readers biting their nails and sitting at the edge of their seats.   

     Gordon Korman is one of Canada’s best loved authors for young readers. The Face-off Phony is Korman’s third book from the Slapshots series and is followed by Cup Crazy which reveals what happens to the Stars during the playoff season.  

Highly Recommended.

Georgie Perigny is a teacher at River Valley School in Sundre, AB.  

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

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