Tuesday, 8 December 2009

TBC: Rebel Power Play

Teebz's Book Club returns today with the sequel to a book already found on the TBC list. About a week and a half ago, we took a look at Off The Crossbar, written by David Skuy and published by Scholastic. The story was about Charlie Joyce and the struggles that he faced moving into a new town, starting a new school, and everything that comes along with being a teenager. Charlie worked hard to make the school hockey team in Terrance Falls, and his hockey story played out amongst all the challenges he faced. In Mr. Skuy's follow-up to Off The Crossbar, Charlie looks to join a club team in Terrance Falls in Rebel Power Play, David Skuy's second book in the Game Time Series! Rebel Power Play is written by Mr. Skuy and published by Scholastic once again.

From the Charlie Joyce website, "David Skuy is a lawyer, recreational hockey player, and author of the Charlie Joyce Hockey Series. A popular speaker and advocate for the reading and writing skills of school-age children, he has crafted a series of books designed to capture the imagery, the sounds, the conflicts, and the achievements that typify a young boy’s life, be it in the school yard or in the hockey rink".

We find Charlie a little down at the start of this book as all his friends have club teams to play on, but Charlie, new to the area, has missed the tryouts. That is, however, until Tom Dunn, owner of Dunn's Sportsmart, offers Charlie a spot on the new expansion team he is creating called the Hawks.

Mike Dunn, one of Charlie's classmates who Charlie didn't get along with particularly well, would automatically be on the team with his dad sponsoring and running the team. Charlie decides that any hockey is better than no hockey, and accepts the offer.

Charlie wants to keep his friends close by so he asks them to join as well. After some pestering, they all agree to join the Hawks, and Charlie's dream team begins to take form. What happens next, however, will give you every reason to race through this book as a bombshell is dropped on Charlie Joyce.

The same problems that Charlie faced in the first book are still present in the second book. Jake, Liam, and Thomas still try to bully Charlie and his friends. Zachary, Scott, Nick, and Pudge are all back as Charlie's circle of friends. Charlie even picks up some new friends along the way in this book. And then there's Julia Chow, the strikingly good-looking girl that causes Charlie to go mute whenever she's around.

Once again, I'm not about to reveal Mr. Skuy's story here. He does a great job in this book in bringing to light some new problems that Charlie has to work through, as well as re-examining Charlie's mettle through some of the same problems he faced before. Like in his first book, Mr. Skuy's story does an excellent job in showing how Charlie deals with daily problems such as bullying, teasing from friends, trying out for teams, and the constant pressure of homework and family.

I was a little disappointed that Mr. Skuy didn't continue with the illustrations in regards to the systems being used by some of the teams. There are several opportunities to show some systems that might prove useful in the real world, but Mr. Skuy doesn't diagram them within this book. It certainly doesn't detract from the solid storyline and good pace of the book, but it would have been a nice bonus to go along with the story.

The 259-page story is slightly longer than the first book, but it also contains a lot more action and excitement. It is still very much geared towards the 9-14 age group of readers. What happens to Charlie and the boys in this book is quite unique, but it certainly could happen to any team out there today. Because of the major problems that Charlie faces and overcomes, Rebel Power Play kept me wanting to read more.

The story moves along at an excellent pace, and really works to show how Charlie deals with each situation. I found this book to be an excellent follow-up to Off The Crossbar, and does a great job in expanding Charlie's and his friends' characters to make the reader more empathetic with their plights. Because of Mr. Skuy's fabulous work in this book in building on his solid foundation, Teebz's Book Club is proud to award Rebel Power Play the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval - the first time a book series has been awarded the Seal of Approval.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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