________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 12 . . . . November 18, 2011


Overtime. (Game Time).

David Skuy.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
216 pp., pbk., $9.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0798-3.

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Myra Junyk.

*** /4



A girl stepped up to the microphone. “My name is Melissa Witherspoon,” she began. “I was a grade eleven rep on the student council last year. We only learned of the school closing this morning, like you. We need to act fast, because if we don’t the school will close in November and all of us will have to go to other schools. For those of you in grade twelve, that means not graduating from Terrence Falls and no prom. For the rest of you, the repairs may take longer than expected, and you could lose another year.”

Charlie looked around the cafeteria. Every student was sitting upright, staring up at the stage. He could tell they were as shocked as he was.

Charlie Joyce and his hockey team, the Rebels, defeat the Tornadoes by a score of 15-0. They are having a streak of very good luck. Unfortunately, this luck will not continue. Charlie arrives late to school just as students are summoned to the cafeteria for a special assembly. Principal Holmes announces that, due to roof damage, Terrence Falls High School will close for the rest of the year. Not only will all the students be bussed to other schools, but there will be no Champions Cup hockey team this year.

      Can the school year be saved? Charlie and his friends are determined to raise funds to make temporary repairs to the school roof. Charlie tells his hockey buddies, “We’ve been through tough times before…Last year we organized the Rebels by ourselves and won the Championship. This year we’re gonna save the school.” However, fundraising is not as easy as it seems at first glance. Students just don’t seem that interested. “The fundraising seemed like a mouse running on a wheel – lots of activity, but it wasn’t going anywhere.”

      Charlie works with Julia Chow to organize a movie night and a skate-a-thon. When they try to rent ice time, they find out that the only place available is in a town which is miles away from their school. As they travel by bus to the skate-a-thon in a heavy rain storm, the bus runs off the road. Charlie and Julia manage to overcome their injuries to save the others. Will this be the end of the fundraising effort? Is their school doomed?

      Overtime is the fourth novel in David Skuy’s “Game Time” series. Charlie Joyce, a very skilled hockey player, continues to grow as a character. His leadership skills are put to the test yet again as he struggles to raise the funds to save his school. However, Charlie and his buddies still exhibit the reckless behavior of teenagers when they break into the school to do temporary repairs to the roof. At one point, they even joke about falling off the roof. “And if you fall over, just do like the ninjas and float on the air and land with bended knees.”

      Perhaps the most refreshing change in this novel is the fact that Charlie’s relationships take precedence over the detailed descriptions of hockey games. Charlie and his friends discover the opposite sex. When they want to play ball hockey, they find that “Ten players were lined up, ready for the drop of the ball – ten girls!” Not only do the boys have to learn to live with their female athlete counterparts, but they also agree to join them at a hockey tournament where the teams are made up of both boys and girls. In the end, they learn a great deal about co-operation and community.


Myra Junyk, a literacy advocate and author, lives in Toronto, ON.

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

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