Scholastic Canada, 2011From the Book Jacket:
Ever since his mom died, Jonathon has been on his own, living on the streets. The Underground gives him a place to sleep, but it’s not like having a real home or being a regular kid. That seems like an impossible dream . . .
Summary:Jonathon has been living on the streets ever since his Mom died. He survives by earning a little money panhandling and running errands for tough guy Lewis. He shelters from the cold in an abandoned shopping mall, hanging out with a group of street kids called the “Undergrounders”. Then, while playing hockey with some stolen gear, Jonathon makes friends with some regular kids. It seems like a dream come true when they invite him to join their team. But now Jonathon has to find a way to keep his homelessness a secret so he can keep his place on the team.
This is a fast-paced story with lots of authentic hockey action. I’m not even a big hockey fan, but I got totally hooked by the strong voice and the details about Jonathon’s life as a street kid. I think boys will especially enjoy this book. Although I found the story a little predictable, I liked the way it made me think about a different way of life. From a writing perspective, I’d look more closely at this one to study how to create a believable first person voice. The way the author wove in Jonathon’s thoughts and emotions helped me lose myself in his story.
Other Info:This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading in the Silver Birch (Fiction) category for 2012. If you aren’t familiar with the Forest of Reading program, here’s how it works: Professionals from schools and public libraries nominate a selection of books in a specific category, students from all over the province read them all and then in April they vote for their favourite. Here’s my writing buddy Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s take on last year’s celebration.
Other books by this author include:Off the Crossbar (Game Time #1)
Rebel Power Play (Game Time #2)
Making the Cut (Game Time #3)
Overtime (Game Time #4)
For more, go to David Skuy’s website.