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Safety Stars
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Safety Stars

Players who fought to make the hard-hitting game of professional hockey safer

By Sue Irwin

$9.95 Paperback
In Stock Ships in 24hrs or or less
Also available from our distributor Lerner Publisher Services
$8.95 Ebook
EPUB In Stock Ships immediately
Series: Lorimer Recordbooks

Rating: 0 vote(s).

Professional hockey is a fast game, and a dangerous one. Skates slice like razors; a hard-shot puck can take out an eye; and the ice surface is as hard as rock, especially when skulls are slammed against it. Innovations in equipment make the game faster and more exciting -- and have to be countered by measures that keep it safe for players.

From hockey heroes like Jacques Plante, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby, to an avid 11-year-old player on a mission, there have been players who have campaigned to make hockey a safer game. They have done this often in the face of denials and opposition from league managers, sports writers, fans, and sometimes other players, too. But they've persisted and made the game safer for players of all ages.

This book tells the story of hockey's safety stars, the opposition they faced, and how they persisted and ultimately succeeded in their campaigns.

[Fry reading level - 4.4


1 A Dangerous Game
2 Danger Between the Pipes
3 The Man Behind the Mask
4 Reality Check
5 Heads-Up!
6 The Real Enforcer
7 A Blinding Shot
8 The Great Debate
9 In a Heartbeat
10 Playing with Heart
11 A Stroke of Bad Luck
About the Author
Photo Credits


Winner - Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection - 2015

Winner - Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Curriculum Development Award – 2015 -

Short-listed - Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award Nominee - 2017

"There is perhaps no other health and safety topic that is so timely as concussion awareness in youth and adult sports and recreation. Sue's book is an invaluable resource for teachers and students and it is written in easy-to-read format ideal for middle school students, struggling readers and ESL students."

- Sam Hammond, President, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario

"Safety Stars is a good examination of the important topic of safety in professional hockey. She dicusses the contributions of several hockey greats such as Jacques Plante, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby. Irwin also describes the determination of 11-year-old Chase McEachern, a devoted hockey fan who suffered from atrial fibrillation (AF), to place life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all schools and hockey arenas."

- Myra Junyk, Resource Links

"[Safety Stars offers intriguing facts and back-story on a perennially important topic."

- Publishers Weekly

"This accessibly written, straightforward text, interspersed with black-and-white photos and lively touches of hockey action, will likely draw in reluctant readers and hockey fans."

- Shelle Rosenfeld Booklist

"For readers who enjoy sports stories and sports information, this book combines the two by using real-life happenings to showcase the dangers of the sport and how they have been addressed. This is interesting and easy to read nonfiction."

- Suzanne Costner, Librarian at Fairview Elementary School Library

"A child who reads this book and then watches an NHL game will realize that very little has been done to make the game safer since Jacques Plante first wore a mask in 1959 even though masks and helmets are now worn by all players. Even with all the protective gear NHL players wear, hockey is a very dangerous game."

- Thomas F. Chambers, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

SUE IRWIN teaches in Hamilton, Ontario. Her writing has been published in a variety of children's publications and has won several awards. A lifetime hockey fan, Sue lives in the Niagara region with her husband, and spends her winter evenings cheering for her favourite hockey players.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 136 pages
Publication Date: 7th February 2015
ISBN: 9781459408463
Format: 7in x 4.25in
b&w photographs

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 7th February 2015
ISBN: 9781459408487
Format: EPUB
b&w photographs

Previous Editions: (show)
Publication Date: 21st April 2015
ISBN: 9781459408470
Binding: Hardback
Replaced by: 9781459408463

BISAC Code:  JNF007100, JNF054070
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 12 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 4.4
Lexile Reading Level: HL720L


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Record Books

Recordbooks Series

Sport biographies highlighting key social issues

Series Website

Series features

  • Ideal for reluctant readers
  • Hi-lo
  • Short chapters, easy-to-read format
  • Great for ESL and adult students
  • Writing with a flair for making history feel like novels
  • Accompanied by historical photos and sports trivia

"Historic photos and short chapters promise to make the book palatable for reluctant readers."
—Quill & Quire

"Kids who like 'infotainment' will be drawn to these books that read like a novel but includes fact boxes, photographs and a glossary." —CM Magazine

Recordbooks are non-fiction stories that help reluctant readers understand history and social issues through the lens of the true story of a sports hero. Showing the process of social change on issues like racism, diversity and conflict, these books engage and provide historical context by telling the often-heroic story of how an athlete or a team worked to change attitudes around them.