Monday, January 11, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - ROCKET BLUES

I am not a big fan of hockey, or most sports, so I don’t read many sports-related novels. But even though I tried to put this one down a few times, I ended up reading it straight through. This is one of the nominees for the 2016 Silver Birch Fiction Awards from the Ontario Library Association.

Description from

When Rocket gets cut from his AAA bantam hockey team, he needs to re-evaluate his priorities. Bryan Rockwood (aka "Rocket") is faced with the unthinkable: being cut from the Huskies — the AAA hockey team he has played on for three years. With no other teams interested in him, Bryan reluctantly joins a AA team, the Blues, at his best friend Maddy's insistence.

Things only get worse when Rocket sees that the Blues don't take hockey seriously. Facing the Huskies in the round robin will give Rocket the chance to prove his skills, but in order to keep his hockey dreams (and his friends) Rocket will have to realize that while hockey is his passion, it is not his entire life.

Rocket Blues was written by David Skuy and published by Scholastic Canada Ltd. in 2014.

My Take:

A great read for any kid who loves hockey! This book is full of exciting hockey moments with lots of details about the action in the game. I liked the main character, Rocket, and was rooting for him to get on a team and win some games. His optimism and kindness made him a likeable character. He sorted out his friendships with members of his old team in a believable way.  Rocket’s friendship with Maddy made me think about different kinds of families and family relationships.

As a writer, I was impressed by the way the author wove in different subplots to make a compelling read, even for someone who doesn’t enjoy hockey.

Opening Line:

“Rocket grabbed his hockey jacket and sticks and headed to the elevator.”


“After everything, all the practices, the working out, the championship, the trophies, it was all over—after one stupid tryout. Just like that.”

“Rocket took off like a racehorse bursting from the gate.”

“And maybe, for the first time in his life, he’d felt, at least a little, that there was more to his life than hockey.”

Other Info:

David Skuy has written several middle grade books about hockey and a series about soccer. His middle grade novel, Undergrounders, won the Silver Birch Award in 2012.

Here’s what he says on his website about why he writes contemporary fiction: “I write for kids who want to relate to something in their own lives, who want to lose themselves in the drama; and while my books have a general sports theme, I really write for all kids, boys and girls alike, who love to read about the world they live in.”


  1. I'm not into hockey either, but if you couldn't put it down, it must be good.

  2. I'm not a big fan of hockey either but I like reading and learning about things I don't know. That's great that this book held your interest.

  3. Well, I am a HUGE hockey fan. My grandson played for awhile and kids hockey can be pretty exciting. I will look for this one. It sounds great. Thanks for the post.

  4. This one went out the same day I put in on the player! He is enjoying it so far. I am awaiting my turn to read it! Thanks for this review!

  5. I'm always looking for books about hockey as so many kids are involved in the sport in my part of the world. Thanks for the recommend. I'll be sure to pass it along.

  6. My grandson lives to play hockey. What a great recommendation for him. I enjoyed the plot and the message that sports represents only a part of Rocket's entire life.


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