Monday, 14 December 2015

TBC: Hockey Luck

With the holiday season upon us, I feel like I've forgotten about those who embrace the spirit like none other in children. I know that when I was a tyke I enjoyed the sights of lit Christmas trees, the sounds of carols, the amazing food, and, of course, the excitement of Christmas morning. While there were always some staples of the Christmas season in our house, one of the things that was always gifted to me were books. In saying this, if you're hunting for a last-minute gift for your little hockey star, Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Hockey Luck, written by Irene Punt and published by Scholastic Canada. Our protagonist, Thomas Hiller, is back, and he's learning another lesson in this fantastic book by Miss Punt!

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 Hockey Rules!.

Hockey Luck is all about something most hockey players have: superstitions! Tom has been struggling with his own luck after moving up to the third level of hockey with the Glenlake Hawks, and he can't figure out why scoring goals is now a challenge for him when it used to be his specialty. His teammates and friends notice his lack of goal-scoring as well, and they start to attribute it to bad luck. In order to help him, they start having him try their superstitions to change his fortunes!

Stuart wears NHL Band-Aids on his blisters. Mark eats pizza on game days. Harty pus his equipment on in a specific order. Jordan wears his stinkiest socks that haven't been washed forever. All four of his best friends offer their lucky items and superstitious beliefs to Tom, but he thinks it's because his lucky #15 jersey isn't available for him to wear, forcing him to wear a new number: the unlucky #5. How would Tom break out of his unlucky streak after not scoring a goal in his first six games?

Here's an excerpt from Hockey Luck. Tom needs to make a how-to list, but all he can think of is how unlucky he's been.

Miss Punt really presents an excellent lesson in Hockey Luck with the resolution to this story. Tom is so focused on scoring goals that he forgets about everything else that makes good hockey players. When he's reminded of this, everything changes for Tom in terms of his performance and, most importantly, his attitude. In the end, Tom realizes how to break his unlucky streak and it's a fairly simple solution!

Hockey Luck may not be on your little player's Christmas list, but it would be an excellent addition to any player's gifts. Miss Punt presents a story that every hockey player experiences at one point or another in his or her hockey career, and the resolution to Tom's problem is one to which every player can relate. It's this lesson of which every player needs to be reminded, and it helps when there's a fun hockey story in which this lesson can be found! Because of this lesson and how it's presented, Hockey Luck absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

You can find Hockey Luck 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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