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Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers' Favorite
Who has the best ice-hockey team – the girls or the boys? Hockey Wars by Sam Lawrence and Ben Jackson is a thrilling action chapter book. Although intended for children from ages 8 to 12, younger hockey fans will also get a kick out of the feud between the two hockey teams, the Lightning and Hurricanes. Cameron and Millie, friends from a very young age, have recently become sworn enemies. As captains for opposing teams who must play against each other for the right to use an outdoor pond to train on, their relationship is threatened. Which captain will lead their team on to victory? And will Cameron and Millie realize in time that by winning they might be losing something more important than a hockey game?
Sam Lawrence and Ben Jackson have written a fast-paced story that builds in momentum, hurtling young readers towards a satisfying ending, while teaching them the value of friendship. Hockey Wars, all about high-octane excitement for hockey fans, is also a character-driven chapter book showing the growth and development of Millie and Cameron as they realize that winning may cost them more than the loss of an ice-hockey pond. The book’s characters ring true to young readers as they behave in ways consistent with their age and context. Millie is strong, Cameron determined, and the rest of the characters believable and engaging. Hockey Wars draws readers irresistibly into the story while teaching a valuable life-lesson in the most natural and compelling way. Don’t read it because you’re a hockey fan, but simply because you’re a fan of great children’s fiction! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.