Thursday, December 20, 2018

Review: Kate's Really Good At Hockey by Christina Frey and Howard Shapiro

by Christina Frey and Howard Shapiro
Animal Media Group, LLC
Middle Grade Sports / Graphic Novel
126 pages
ages 8 to 12

Best. Summer. Ever. At least it was supposed to be.

Kate can't wait to attend the elite girls' hockey camp in Denver and go up against some of the best players from around the world. But then Mom says Kate has to stay with her grandma in Denver, who doesn't care about Kate's hockey dreams at all. And two players at the camp have it in for Kate both on and off the ice. Toss in a tough-as-nails coach and a huge family secret, and Kate's perfect summer isn’t turning out quite like she planned.

Kate's Really Good at Hockey is a story about family, friendship, and doing what it takes to follow your dreams.


Firstly, this book automatically made me smile since it was set at my own alma mater.

Kate's life is hockey. When she's accepted into the elite hockey camp, it's a dream come true. Until she discovers that she's to stay with her grandmother instead of in the dorms with the rest of the girls. At camp, things get tough. Not only is the coach extremely hard on them...especially on Kate...but two girls from up north are determined to make her life difficult. Nothing is fair, but Kate doesn't seem to be able to do anything to stop it. Mix is the problems with her grandmother and coach, and the dream is morphing into a massive disappointment.

It's wonderful to see a middle grade book with girls and hockey, and one that hits the game with all that hardness the game holds. Young hockey fans are sure to enjoy that. The graphics/illustrations are extremely well done and keep the tension and emotions as grabbing as the text. It reads smoothly and brings the characters to life, making them easy to cheer for.

The author rolls in several tougher themes along the way. These slide right into the main story line, come with fairly practical solutions and mold in so as not to become overpowering, allowing the story to stay front and center. It has a feel-good ending, which wraps up the ends nicely.

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