________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 10 . . . . January 11, 2008


Winter Hawk Star. (Orca Sports).

Sigmund Brouwer.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
158 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-8696.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Deborah Pethrick.
**** /4   


I suppose I could be less invisible if I were one of the guys who joked around in the locker room. Or if I broke curfew. Or if I complained. It’s just easier to not be noticed. That way people don’t expect things from you. There’s no pressure, nothing to fear.


Tyler Watson is an average player on the Portland Winter Hawks hockey team. Even though he is one of the older players, he doesn’t dream of making to the National Hockey League. He stays under the radar going relatively unnoticed. He just wants to play when needed without making any mistakes. He plays a very safe game. When he is called to the coach’s office after practice one day, he wonders if his playing days are over. But rather than being told he is off the team, Tyler is told he will be “babysitting” the obnoxious superstar rookie, Ryan Judd, who needs a serious attitude adjustment before he gets himself kicked off the team. Tyler and Ryan will be volunteering at a drop in center for disadvantaged kids. The coach is hoping Tyler will teach Ryan to be a little more humble and Ryan will teach Tyler to be more of a risk taker.

“This year the public relations people have gotten us involved with a group called Youth Works… and came up with the idea of sending a couple of players from the team to help the kids… You’re one of the players. Riley will be the other. Maybe that way Riley will learn something about real life… Your job is to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble. Your job is
to be a good influence on Riley Judd.”

     After a rocky start at the youth centre, Tyler and Ryan get caught up in a mystery where the kids at the centre are being used as guinea pigs by a pharmaceutical company to test a drug for ADD. Tyler learns to assert himself, and Ryan learns humility and compassion. The lessons learned by both boys affect the way they play hockey and interact with people on and off the ice. Two completely opposite people become close friends.

     Not being a hockey fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. Winter Hawk Star is a quick page turner that will interest all readers. Filled with mystery, intrigue and relationships, it is sure to appeal to even the reluctant or low level reader.

Highly Recommended.

Deborah Pethrick works in a K-9 school library in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.