________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 24. . . .February 26, 2016


Last Shot.

David Skuy.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
229 pp., trade pbk., html & Apple ed., $9.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4431-4669-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4431-4670-8 (html), ISBN 978-1-4431-4671-5 (Apple ed.).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Mark Mueller.

**** /4


Feedback crackled like thunder over the arena’s loudspeaker. The people in front of him nearly jumped out of their seats. Rocket didn’t flinch. Six hours slouched in this spot, waiting for his name to be called, had numbed his body and his nerves.


Last Shot is David Skuy’s fast-paced and exciting follow-up novel to Rocket Blues. In this next installment of Bryan “Rocket” Rockwood’s journey towards becoming a professional hockey player, Rocket is drafted into the OHL tryouts. The next step in his journey is to enroll in junior hockey camp even though his mother has plans for him to attend a college in the United States. After Rocket convinces his mother to allow him to join junior hockey camp, Rocket is excited that his dreams of joining the OHL will be realized. When he starts training camp, he discovers that the other players at the junior hockey camp are more interested in their personal agendas and the fame and fortune that come with being NHL player than they are about becoming a better team. The competition and stress that accompany the realities of making it to the OHL team are intense, and Rocket has to decide whether his dream of becoming a professional hockey player is worth the struggles after all.

     Though Last Shot is just as fast-paced and exciting as Rocket Blues, Skuy does not seem to work in as many social issues and dilemmas as he did in the first installment. His character depictions are realistic enough in that he shows that adults and children can react in different ways to different situations. He also draws very clear lines between what are and what are not model behaviors in a professional hockey setting. For instance, Rocket wants to make it into the OHL so that he can help him and his family get out of a poor housing situation while the other team members are in it for personal glory. Skuy also depicts other behaviors that occur in the professional hockey world that are clearly wrong: poor sportsmanship; initiation and hazing; and “trash talking” other players. Last Shot has a lot of boy appeal, and I am starting to read in other book reviews that girls really enjoy his novels as well. I would highly recommend Last Shot as an addition to any school and/or public library.

Highly Recommended.

Mark Mueller is the Education Librarian at Tyndale University College in Toronto, ON.

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

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

CM Home | Next Review | (Table of Contents for This Issue - February 26, 2016.) | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)