0 02/23/2014 reviews Books

Hockey Heroes

We’re still cheering for our women’s team around my house, even while we got up early hoping that the men will follow them to another victory for our Hockey Nation. (Which! Yay! Good job, boys!) Gabe is just as awestruck by our women’s team in this new book.

The Highest Number in the World, by Roy MacGregor

Tundra Books, ISBN: 978 1 77049 575 3

Gabe has just made it onto a hockey team full of girls older than her, she’s that good. She is proud, practicing her signature and about to get her new jersey, and she’s hoping for #22, the number she always wears for luck, the number of her idol, Hayley Wickenheiser – so when she gets #9 instead, she is devastated. She can’t see past it, until her grandmother drops by and tells her a thing or two about the amazing history of #9 in hockey, and Gabe is able to see things differently, taking great pride in her new number, after all.

This is a great take on sportsmanship, the importance of attitude, and handling disappointment without feeling preachy. Instead, it feels sweet and pride-inducing, and gives a terrific look back at hockey history, which might even make readers want to learn more. (In which case, check out Mike Leonetti’s picture books about the greats.) It feels perfectly timed, and synchs very nicely with many of the messages the Olympics deliver to our kids, so if you want to keep the magic going or use the moment to talk about gracefully accepting small let-downs, this is an excellent place to start. I’m really, really liking this pick!

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