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The Hockey KidsHere at The Hockey Museum we get very excited when something new relating to our sport is released so you can imagine the excitement when we got wind of a new children’s book featuring hockey. A week later when our copy arrived in the post there was debate around the office on who got to read it first. Your author was the lucky winner and as such got nominated to write the review for the website.

The story of the book follows three friends and some class mates who sign up to play hockey following a new programme of activates at school. They go through a roller coaster of problems including their coaches being unavailable for training and the tournament they are playing in being cancelled.

From the beginning the book tackles several difficult issues including the opinion that hockey is a girls’ sport when the two main male characters express how they don’t want to play hockey because it is for girls. The book disparages this view when one of the coaches is male and the team is mixed gender.

In total, there are 8 players on the hockey team in the book. Their personalities and traits cover a number of typical issues prevalent within any sports team including being nervous before a match, one player taking charge without the agreement of the rest of the team and issues around body image. Through the book we see the characters facing these issues and learning how their traits and the way they each project themselves can affect others in the team. It is a celebration of the unifying quality of team sport.

The only criticism of the book is that in places the translation from the original German is not nuanced. For example, our hockey trio compete in a “read-aloud contest” rather than a “reading contest” in their school class (“read-aloud” being a literal translation of the German “vorlesen”). Although this and other similar errors did not distract from the story, I had to do a double take to check I had read it correctly. As I was reading it myself there was no real issue with this but it did occur to me the issues this could produce if reading it aloud to children or them reading it themselves.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and was feeling nostalgic about playing football at University and it got me thinking about looking in to joining a local team sport again.

Find out more about Sabine Hahn and The Hockey-Kids at http://www.sabinehahn.net/english/the-hockey-kids

Editor: the opinions presented in this article are those of the individual assigned to review this particular book. They do not represent the views of The Hockey Museum.

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