Thursday, 29 December 2011

TBC: Overtime

We'll finish off this solid year of hockey literature with the fourth book in Scholastic's Game Time series. If you've been keeping up with the series, our protagonist, Charlie Joyce, is a pretty solid hockey player for Terrance Falls High School. His friends - Pudge, Scott, Nick, and Matt - also play hockey for the high school team, and his previous adventures have seen him tackle a number of issues from starting out at a new school to dealing with bullies. Teebz's Book Club is proud to present Overtime, written by David Skuy and published by Scholastic Canada, and is the follow-up to Making The Cut. This book was an excellent look at a number of problems that are plaguing the students of Terrance Falls High School, and it takes more than just Charlie and his friends to save Terrance Falls High in the fourth Game Time book!

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".

While Charlie and the Rebels are having a solid start to their hockey season, some exceptionally bad news is brought forth by Principal Holmes early in the book: Terrance Falls High School will be forced to close while the school's roof is repaired. Because the budget is tight, the students would be split up and sent off to other high schools in order to continue their educations while the education budget at Terrance Falls High School is spent on the roof! This would most likely mean that Charlie and his friends would be sent to different schools!

The students decide to organize a fundraising committee to try and raise the $150,000 required to fix the roof so that the school's budget isn't blown on the roof. With the boys working hard on putting a temporary fix on the school roof thanks to Matt having experience with his dad's construction company, the boys also make some new friends in Julia Chow and her friends. Julia, Rebecca, Alexandra, Michelle, Emily, and Cassie made up the girls' team, and they had just as much talent as Charlie and his friends, especially when it came to ball hockey! The girls and the guys would clash initially, but Charlie's and Julie's friendship bring the two groups together in order to try to raise funds to help the school.

Along the way, the group of students discover a number of problems: the organizing committee's intolerance towards younger students, the increasing rainfall the school is facing, and a major catastrophe that not only defines the young protagonists, but shows that courage can come from all sorts of places.

Overtime is an excellent book that really kept me glued to the pages. Mr. Skuy's writing might be the best of the series in this book, and the ordeals that Charlie, Julia, their friends, and a new friend face really define these young protagonists. Their goal of $150,000 is a lofty one, and they do suffer some setbacks along the way. Do they finally make the goal? What is the catastrophe, and how does this define these students? What happens to Terrance Falls High, and where do all the students get sent? All of these questions are answered in Overtime!

Overall, I really want Mr. Skuy to continue writing books in the Game Time series. Overtime was the best of the four books yet, and I am really liking the development of the characters in his stories. The story in Overtime is solid, and there are some really interesting parts that will keep readers turning pages as they read about the efforts of the young protagonists. I highly recommend getting your young readers into this series as they will not be disappointed. Because of this, Overtime is entirely deserving of the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

I cannot say enough good things about this book. As an adult, I am enjoying Mr. Skuy's writing, and your young readers will find that these books are great to read. The Game Time series, written by Mr. Skuy, really is a great way to finish off Teebz's Book Club for another year, and here's to another great year of literature in 2012!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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