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Summary: Josh lives and breathes hockey. His Dad, who also loves hockey, is focused on getting his brother a scholarship. Josh's frustration mounts because the harder he tries to play (and get dad's attention) the more difficult it is to keep up. This is a story that weaves the dynamics of family life with the angst of being a pre-teen.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, middle grade reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Adult Reader Reaction: The family fight that opens the book set the stage for the rest of the story. It came on strong and took away from Josh's story. The concept has a lot to offer for kids who have (or may have) diabetes, but it's really lost in a collection of subplots.
Pros: The book is concise, so it's easy to finish the book in an afternoon. It has an important message for kids about their health
Cons: The personalities are almost cookie cutters of the sports-driven family. Their dynamic overpowers the true value of the book: teaching kids about diabetes, particularly the warning signs.
Borrow or Buy: Definitely borrow. It's hard to find books that will interest pre-teen boys; this is probably one of them.
Educational Themes: Because of the collection of subplots, kids will take different things from the story: how to pay attention to what your body tells you; friendship (and teen angst of young love); family dynamics and sibling relationships; and sportsmanship
Literary Categories: Fiction - sports, health and medicine, family, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2005
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