My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Both my son and myself received a review copy of this book from LibraryThing. He really wanted it, so I figured if I applied for a copy, as well as him, then we would perhaps end up with one copy. In the end, as I just mentioned, we both got a copy. He’ll probably share his thoughts soon on his blog soon.
Face-Off at the Alamo is the latest book in the long-running Screech Owl series by author and media inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Roy MacGregor. The book is aimed at children, probably in the 9-12 age group. I have never read any of the books in this series before, but it is a very popular series, recommended by none other than the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.
Although I have never read any books in the series before, this wasn’t a hard book to get into. It’s a complete story in itself, although I gather that many of the characters are the same ones from other books in the series. Although it was a fairly easy read for me, due to the age group it is aimed at, I was still able to enjoy it and it kept me fairly well engaged and interested. My eleven-year old son really enjoyed it and is now trying to get his hands on some of the other books in the series.
The book centres around the Screech Owls Peewee hockey team (from Canada) being invited to participate in a tournament in San Antonio, Texas, the home of the Alamo. The winners of the tournament will be allowed to spend a night camped in the Alamo. I don’t want to give anything away, but as well as the tournament, there’s a mystery to be solved, surrounding a plot to blow up the Alamo.
There are a number of good things about the book that make me want to recommend it for younger readers. The story moves well, there are some great characters, and issues of honesty and fair play are explored. The coach and manager of the Screech Owls are good role models and demonstrate that, although it is nice to win, it’s the participation and doing your best that are more important. This is important, because too often these days pressure is put on young people to win, regardless of the cost or who you may hurt on the way.
Face-Off at the Alamo is a great read for the young hockey fan and I dare say many an older fan, like myself, can enjoy it as well. I’m sure there will be further books to follow to join the twenty or more already published in this series and I know that they will be enjoyed for many more years to come.
(Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from LibraryThing, but this in no way influenced my opinion or review)