Friday 16 October 2020




Eleven-year-old Sam Parker is a hockey player entering the first year in which body checking is allowed. His natural fear of getting hit is temporarily overshadowed by finding out his parents are getting divorced. Determined to keep them together by being a hockey superstar, Sam instead suffers a bone-crunching check from the school bully in his first game of the season. The resulting pain and fear brings out the worst in Sam as one difficulty after another piles on. Even his best friend, Jill, doesn’t always seem to understand what he’s going through. Sam has to learn how to get up after life knocks you down – both on and off the ice.

A bit of a departure from my usual reading in the form of a book for early teenagers and younger readers. Author, Frank Scalise has been read before, as crime writing favourite Frank Zafiro .

The story centres on Sam, his ice hockey, his best friend and his parents. It's about being hurt emotionally and physically, being scared, bewildered and more than a little bit lost and uncertain. It's about discovering that the sun doesn't always shine and that life doesn't always turn out how you want.  It's about finding something within yourself, to confront your fears and get back up after been knocked down. It's about realising that not everything is your fault and that you don't have the power to fix everything. It's about acceptance and growing up.

I quite enjoyed the back drop of ice hockey as well, something I only ever catch a glimpse of every four years when a Winter Olympics rolls around. 

4 from 5

Read - (listened to) October, 2020
Published - 2011
Page count - 151 (3 hrs)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible


  1. Perhaps it's the educator in me, Col, but I always appreciate a well-written book aimed at young people. I'm a big believer in starting a reading habit early. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It sounds like a good story with a solid plot. To me, that's important. Young people don't want a boring story any more than adults do.

  2. Col, I'm assuming you read 151 pages in three hours. How did you do that? Nowadays I require two to three sittings for any book, more if it's nonfiction.

    1. Listened to it on Audio. Maybe the page count is deceptive. Short chapters, bigger text, lots of spacing??? I like a page count for my OCD though.

  3. I'm like Prashant, Col - very impressed by the amount you are getting through these days! Between the books and the TV, you have long lists. Will we see stats at the end of the year?

    1. Moira, I'm hoping to produce some. More for my own satisafaction than anything else. I'm about a month behind on things though.