Sunday, August 10, 2014

Power Play by Eric Walters

I have always loved anything written by Eric Walters. The man can truly tell a story that kids enjoy. As a matter of fact, my first read aloud this year will be by Eric. Because I haven't been reading as many YA books, I haven't read anything by him in a while, but when I saw this book this other day, I knew I needed to read it. Power Play is about a young man who loves hockey. For him, hockey is an escape from his father and his life at home. Cody and his mother are very close, but his dad is an angry man who uses alcohol to forget about all of the disappointments his life has brought. Cody sees hockey as his way to escape, it is the only thing he is good at. So when a scout comes around looking for someone to play on his Junior A team, Cody is thrilled- he knows this is his stepping stone to one day playing in the NHL. Coach Conners gives Cody everything- he believes in him, seems to know everyone connected to hockey and has access to all the best equipment. But Coach requires a pretty steep payback for everything. Cody is sucked into a terrible situation when Coach Conners starts to abuse the power he has over Cody. Cody is forced to decide if he is willing to risk his future to end the suffering. This book has an afterward written by Sheldon Kennedy who acknowledges the abuse he faced at the hands of his coach. I think many boys will be drawn to this book because of the hockey, but the lesson learned from this book is very important. This will be a tough book to have in my classroom, but I want it there. I am just not sure what I will do when someone wants to read it. I feel that the situation was handled very sensitively, you know what was going on, without knowing the details. However, I am not sure how parents would react to this story. I feel that it would be important to have a conversation with a student after reading this book. I would love to hear how other's feel about kids reading this book from school.

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