________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 21 . . . . February 2, 2018


The Ice Chips and the Magical Rink.

Roy MacGregor & Kerry MacGregor. Illustrated by Kim Smith.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins, 2018.
133 pp., hardcover, $16.99.
ISBN 978-1-44345-228-1.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Myra Junyk.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



He treasured this picture of the Riverton Ice Chips, all posed together on the ice of their beloved rink. Lucas was right in the middle, beside his best friend, Ekamjeet Singh – or "Edge" to everyone on the team. Edge had made a joke and Lucas had laughed just as the photo was snapped. In it, his thick brown hair seemed to spring out of the holes in his helmet and his pudgy baby face was smiling from ear to ear. He looked hilarious and he loved it.

At the time the photo was taken, Lucas suddenly realized, he still thought that he was going to make it to the National Hockey League – that he'd play with the pros, win the Hart Memorial Trophy, and bring the Stanley Cup back to his hometown.

But not now.

Lucas lives and breathes hockey. He dreams of playing once again for the Riverton Ice Chips. However, this year Lucas has several challenges to overcome. He has grown over the summer and can no longer fit into his hockey gear. His family cannot afford to get him new gear. When his older cousin gives him his ancient smelly gear, Lucas has no choice but to wear it. More importantly, the ice-making equipment at the community arena has broken and cannot be fixed. Where will the Ice Chips play?

      During this desperate time, Lucas and his friends experience a strange phenomenon at the arena. They are suddenly transported to another time and another ice rink, this one on a frozen pond! Here, they meet two young people – Gordon and Edna – attempting to skate with only one pair of skates. Lucas and his buddies befriend them and even go with them to get their skates sharpened. They meet an enterprising young boy named Roger who has invented a new way to sharpen skates. It turns out that the year they have been taken back to is 1936 during the Great Depression.

      As the friends deal with their time travel, they must also contend with minor league hockey tryouts, a new bully in town named Lars, and their own insecurities about their hockey skills. Will the arena be saved? Who are Gordon, Edna and Roger? How will they change the world? Will Lucas make the team?

      Roy MacGregor, a columnist for the Globe and Mail, has written several books about hockey legends as well as the Screech Owls hockey mystery series. Co-author Kerry MacGregor has worked as a journalist for the CBC as well at The Toronto Star. This new hockey novel looks at several timely issues including: minor league hockey, bullying, time travel, inventions, friendship, the Great Depression, and sportsmanship. The short chapters, accessible vocabulary and fun-filled illustrations will make The Ice Chips and the Magical Rink a good choice for readers of all abilities who enjoy hockey mysteries.


A resident of Toronto, ON, Myra Junyk is a literacy advocate and author.

To comment on this title or this review, contact cm@umanitoba.ca.

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