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Reviewed by Susan van der Walt for Readers' Favorite
The central storyline in The Cup is the ice hockey game the children planned for New Year's Eve while their parents entertained their guests. The preparations started early that morning since they had to shovel a lot of snow from the street and sidewalks to create their playing area. Author DP Hardwick alternates his recount of this game with his memories of the different players on the two teams. Through these memories, he touches on topics like bullying, the connection you can have with a beloved pet, the supernatural, etc. DP Hardwick also shares the valuable lessons he learned from his childhood, like loyalty, teamwork, respect for others, and the value of friendship.
I just had to laugh at Sasquatch (Dale) singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall, all the way down to no bottles of beer. And then start all over again to irk his friends! DP Hardwick made me long for my childhood and its simple pleasures through the memories he shares. Even though very different from my own, The Cup tells of a time when it was safe for children to play outside until late at night. Getting up to mischief like boys do and their love for sport - swimming, football, and ice hockey. We see this at the New Year's Eve street hockey game. They start early to prepare the field and continue to play when it starts snowing, even if they have to shovel snow to keep their rink playable. I could also associate with Ricky's connection with his dog, Muffin, because of the companionship I share with my dog, Pixie. YA readers will enjoy the links to the music shared through the narrative.