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Starting where they’re at: hockey

March 29th, 2012 by Carrie Gleason


Not only do lots of boys play hockey. They follow the sport, know the stars, and dream about the NHL themselves.

One route to hockey stardom is an invitation to an elite sports school for athletes. There are several of these across the country.

If you’ve got boys who dream of the big leagues, you might offer them a book that tells them what it’s like to leave home and go to one of those schools.

The book is placed in a fictional school which is a lot like the real schools. Author Lorna Schultz Nicholson drew on her knowledge of top Canadian sports schools as well as her personal experiences with teens who have billeted away from home to play sports to create a new series, the Podium Sports Academy series. In the first book in the series, Rookie, hockey player Aaron Wong is involved in a brutal hazing incident. Upcoming books in the series will tell the story of one athlete involved in a different sport.

How does Lorna know what goes on with teenage boys away from home? She’s had several billeted in her house, plus she’s got to know many of the top hockey players in Canada who’ve played on Canada’s national teams. The boys you know will find Lorna’s book to be true-to-life.

The low reading level of the Podium series makes these books easy for readers to digest, resulting in a stronger confidence that will encourage reluctant teen readers to pick up even more books.

(If you’re trying to reach girl reluctant readers, you might want to give them Vegas Tryout, the second book in the Podum series. In this book, hockey player Aaron’s girlfriend, synchro swimmer Carrie Munroe, struggles with an eating disorder.)


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