Monday 13 October 2014

TBC: Hockey Rules!

Remember when I said that I needed to start reading more with school having started? We have another book to discuss today! I have read two of Irene Punt's books thus far, and we'll add a third in her series of four books. Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Hockey Rules!, written by Irene Punt, illustrated by Ken Steacy, and published by Scholastic Canada. Miss Punt's stories always have a great lesson to them that should help your young reader become a better person, and today's story is no different. In Hockey Rules!, Tom and his friends learn a thing or two about playing by the rules in this story - both on and off the ice!

Irene Punt is a former teacher who has transformed her energy in the classroom into an unbridled passion for her subjects on paper. She received a Bachelor of General Studies degree from Simon Fraser University, and took up teaching as a way to give back. She studied children's literature at S.F.U. under David Booth, and developed a passion for writing from Mr. Booth's teachings. Her move to Calgary from Vancouver prompted her to begin writing children's books, and has scribed picture books, novels, TV scripts, and stage scripts. Her other Scholastic hockey books include The Rink Rats, The Funny Faceoff, and The Rotten Ref Tryout Trouble.

If you noticed, one title above has a line through it. In corresponding with Miss Punt, she wrote the following:
"You mention a book titled The Rotten Ref. Yup, I wrote that one and sold it, but it went to press with a new title... Hockey Rules! The editor felt my original title was too negative towards refs. So, when you read Hockey Rules!... you will see."
So technically, the review today was for the originally-titled book, The Rotten Ref. However, with the title change, we shall review Hockey Rules! instead of negatively-charged book. Ok? Ok.

Tom, Jordan, Mark, and Stuart are still knee-deep in hockey season in Calgary as part of the Glenlake Hawks team. They're still the best team in Calgary in their age group, but there are teams right behind them trying to knock them off their perch. Jeff, Tom's babysitter, sees the boys practicing at their rink, and tells them some good news: "I just passed the test! Now I'm a ref!"

The Hawks play their next game against the much bigger, much stronger Brentwood Bears, and the boys know they'll have to be at their best. When they arrive at the rink, they discover that Jeff is their referee for the game! The boys should have an advantage, right? Instead, they find that Jeff calls a number of penalties on them, and he disallows a goal by Tom after losing sight of the puck! Because of Jeff's calls, the Hawks lose the game 1-0! Wasn't Jeff supposed to be their friend? How could he make them lose?

There's a fantastic message in Hockey Rules! about sportsmanship and respect, and I think Miss Punt has done an absolutely wonderful job in teaching this message. She uses Tom's experiences on the ice and another experience off the ice to reinforce the message of respect why following the rules is important both in hockey and in life.

Hockey Rules! is another excellent book for you to read with your young hockey player or to have your young hockey player read to you. The 76-page story isn't a difficult read, and the series with Tom and his friends should make for multiple nights of reading. Hockey Rules! has excellent messages woven into the story by Miss Punt, and, like the other stories in this series, Hockey Rules! absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

You can find Hockey Rules! at your local library or bookstore. The book is listed for just $5.99 in Canada, meaning that it won't dent your wallet too much in order to get your young reader into this story. Pick up this book for your young hockey star to read!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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