10 Books That Make Great Gifts For Hockey Moms

10 Books That Make Great Gifts For Hockey Moms

Hockey Rivals Books

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10 Books That Make Great Gifts For Hockey Moms

If you never know what to buy your favorite hockey mom, here are some literary ideas below. These 10 books make great gifts for hockey moms. They offer humor, art, knowledge of the game, emotional support, organizational tips, nutrition advice, and more. Click the title to purchase these books on Amazon.
Hockey Moms book

Hockey Moms Aren’t Crazy by Jody M. Anderson (Author) and Scott Rolfs (Illustrator) – Hockey Moms… if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? (Besides Soccer Moms!) This funny book pays tribute to Hockey Moms everywhere with hilarious illustrations, jokes and stories – including short funny stories from Hockey Moms and hockey greats, like Mike Eruzione! Finally, a hockey book that gives us the credit we deserve! (Well, okay, our kids deserve a little credit, too.

hockey mom resources

Hockey Moms Aren’t Crazy: The Coloring Book by Jody M. Anderson (Author) and Scott Rolfs (Illustrator) – Hockey Moms ARE Crazy… About Coloring! Hockey Moms… We love our kids. We love hockey. We love to laugh. But when it comes time to relax, to reduce stress, and to enjoy some quiet time, we find peace in coloring. Of course, not just any coloring book will do. Even our creative time needs to be about hockey!

By popular demand, this coloring book collects 21 of your favorite cartoon gags from Jody M. Anderson’s Hockey Moms Aren’t Crazy! Plus, you’ll find four new illustrations from artist Scott Rolfs that you’ve never seen before. Every illustration is on a one-sided page, so you can force your children to hang your artistic creations in their lockers.

Inside You’ll Find

  • 25 illustrations to color
  • hilarious captions
  • one-sided pages

books for hockey moms

The Rookie Hockey Mom: How to Play the Game’s Toughest Position by Melissa Walsh – There are over a million hockey moms in the United States and Canada, many of whom have jumped in without full awareness of how much time the sport requires, how much it costs, and how it is played. Here, in a book for that intrepid bunch, veteran hockey mom of four Melissa Walsh, who also coaches and plays recreational hockey, takes mothers by the glove through every aspect of the youth hockey journey.

Moms who think icing is for cakes and boards are for college will be saved embarrassing moments around the rink as Walsh educates them on the history, rules, etiquette, lingo, and officiating signals of a sport that is new to many parents. Chapters also cover purchasing and caring for equipment, tips on safety, development levels and guidelines, and advice for cooperating with coaches and other hockey parents. There’s great insight into connecting with youth hockey players, managing a team, choosing a league, and fueling young skaters with good nutrition. Salted with quotes from hockey players and moms who’ve been there and loaded with the wisdom that only a real hockey mom can offer, The Rookie Hockey Mom is a must for hockey-crazy families and the women who drive them everywhere. Updated for USA Hockey’s 2011-12 game rules for “progressive checking skill development.”

books for hockey parents

Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom by Angie Abdou – The author of the Canada Reads–nominated The Bone Cage tackles the ups and downs of amateur hockey, from a mother’s point of view. Over 570,000 people are registered in Hockey Canada and over 600,000 in Hockey USA. It’s a national obsession. But what does that really mean when your child wants to play on a team? As a former varsity athlete and university instructor teaching sport literature, novelist Angie Abdou is no stranger to sport obsession, but she finds herself conflicted when faced with the reality of the struggles, joys, and strains of having a child in amateur hockey. In Home Ice, with equal parts humour and anguish, Abdou charts a full season of life as an Atom-level hockey mom, from summer hockey camp to the end-of-season tournament. Her revealing stories and careful research on issues such as cost, gender bias, concussion, and family pressures offer a compellingly honest and complex insider’s view of parenting today’s young athlete in a competitive and high-pressure culture.

hockey mom gifts

Hockey Moms: Realities from the Rink: Introducing 20 Women You Already Know by Julie Bertuzzi (Author), Anthony Jenkins (Illustrator) – Julie Bertuzzi, the wife of NHL player Todd Bertuzzi and Hockey Mom extraordinaire, presents us with twenty hilarious portraits of the Hockey Moms we know and love. The perfect gift book for all seasons.

Straight-shooting, observant, and uproarious, Julie Bertuzzi’s Hockey Moms is an irreverent look at the many kinds of moms you are sure to find in the ice rinks, on the road, and in the hotel bars at tournaments across this hockey-loving continent. While always applauding the dedication of moms who support their players — at early morning practices and on long drives to and from tournaments, in the triumph of a big win and the heartache of a big loss — Bertuzzi pokes fun at herself and her fellow Hockey Moms, and brings alive the many characters she has observed during her years of experience as a Hockey Mom herself. Whether it’s Big Mouth Betty shrieking from the stands, the Drama Queen stirring up trouble in the bar after a tournament game, Team Manager Mom with her clipboard and team jacket, the Yodeler, or the Leaner, readers will recognize and delight in these familiar profiles. This is a quick, funny read and a must-have book for Hockey Moms, and those who love them, everywhere.

gifts for hockey moms

Lessons from Behind the Glass: The Journey of a Hockey Mom by Allyson Tufts – Whether you are about to lace up your child’s skates for the first time, or you have a young teen who is coming to the end of his or her Minor Hockey career, Lessons from Behind the Glass is the perfect companion to help you through your most crazy moments in the stands. From politics to perspective to passion, this book will help guide you to a balanced and less stressful life in the arena…and keep you laughing along the way!

hockey parent books

My Kids Play Hockey: Essential Advice for Every Hockey Parent by  Christie Casciano Burns – For the past several years veteran hockey mom Christie Casciano’s monthly Hockey Mom columns have been required reading for the half million readers of USA Hockey Magazine. Drawing on her twenty years in the youth hockey trenches, she brings a wit and wisdom that comes with spending countless hours in the rink. Mixing in a little cutting humor and some good old-fashioned motherly advice, her articles speak to and for grizzled veterans and newcomers to the sport alike.

My Kids Play Hockey is a compilation of Christie’s work. Some of her topics include:

  • Back to School, Back to Hockey: Getting Ready for a Fresh Season
  • How to Act Like an Adult at a Youth Hockey Game
  • Organizing Your Hockey Household
  • Valuable Lessons Learned during a Losing Season
  • Striking a Balance between being Coach and a Parent

hockey family resources

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey: 101 Stories about the Players Who Love the Game and the Families that Cheer Them On by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Laura Robinson –  You’ll love these inside looks at your favorite NHL players and personalities, the biggest games in hockey history, and all the everyday joys of your favorite sport! Meet the real Mark Messier—coaching kids in his hometown. Travel through the years with famous hockey sportscaster Brian McFarlane. Read about the kindness of Bobby Orr and a personal look at Mario Lemieux.

And in addition to all the stories by and about NHLers, you’ll read stories by fans and everyday players about big games and big plays; backyard rinks, pond hockey, and shinny games; growing up loving the game; and growing to love the game! You’ll also find inspiring stories by NHLers and Olympians about dedication, dreams, and drive, including:

  • Former NHL player Georges Laraque, “the gentle tough guy,” on how he persevered against racism to play the game he loves
  • Olympian Cassie Campbell-Pascall on how losing the gold medal at the first ever women’s hockey Olympic game made her and the team better, winning gold the next time
  • NHL player Vinny Prospal on how believing in himself and working hard pushed him through the minors into the pros, making his former GM “eat his shoes”
  • Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser on challenging herself by playing on a Finnish male team and inspiring another young female hockey player to be a star
  • NHL player Matt Duchene on his parents’ support and the sacrifices that helped him reach the NHL
  • Former NHL player Ryan Walter on the lifelong lessons he learned during his rookie season

hockey mom tips

The Hockey Mom’s Manual: What SportsMom Thinks You’d Like to Know by Laurel Phillips and Barbara Stahl – So, you thought that youth hockey would only impact your child’s life. Yep, we thought that too. Help is here! The Hockey Mom’s Manual spells out what you need to know about your child’s sports experience, including:
* the time, money, and equipment it takes
* which rules may trigger controversy
* the care and feeding of young athletes
* the behavior that’s expected (yours), and
* what’s ahead as your child gets older

Written for moms by moms, this handy how-to is a “heads-up” that can make your child’s hockey experience a better one for your athlete, your family, and you.

sports moms

Fueling Young Athletes by Heather Mangieri – Young athletes are always on the go. School, family, and sports eat up a lot of time. For parents and coaches, it can be a challenge to make sure kids are eating healthfully enough to perform at their best on and off the field. Fueling Young Athletes provides the help you need.

In this practical guide, Heather Mangieri—a sport dietitian and mother of three active kids—breaks down the nutrition needs of young athletes and explains what the latest research suggests. You’ll analyze current eating habits and preferences and how and where these can be improved. You’ll learn how healthier meals and snacks can equate to improved performance while still being convenient and appetizing.

Fueling Young Athletes addresses the issues that families and athletes most often face, such as late-night practices, inconvenient school lunchtimes, demanding tournament schedules and travel leagues, and lack of sleep. Best of all, you’ll find a collection of easy recipes for smoothies and sport drinks, all with common ingredients and nutrition information.

Conclusion

I hope you agree that these books will make terrific gifts for hockey moms. Do you have a book to add to the list? Have you read any of these? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Offsides Included In 5 Compelling Books For Young Readers Video

Offsides Included In 5 Compelling Books For Young Readers Video

books for young readers

I was honored to be included in a new video wiki called Authors Of Challenging And Engrossing Books For Young Readers, which lists five compelling book recommendations. My young adult ice hockey novel, Offsides, was one of the titles featured in the video. This is the sequel to Face-Off, the hockey novel that I wrote at age sixteen and had published at eighteen.

Offsides was published twenty-five years later, and it was so much fun revisiting characters I created when I was a teen. (You can learn why it took twenty-five years in the note to readers that I included in the the published book. It’s a long story!)

I’m thrilled that my hard work on this book has been recognized and am beyond grateful that this wiki will help new readers to discover my Hockey Rivals books as well as other recommended books for kids to read. In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for kids to find comfort and escape in fiction. Reading has helped me to get through difficult times, and I’m happy whenever I hear that my words touched someone else.

hockey book for teensAccording to the video page, the selected authors listed have written middle grade and YA books featuring diverse characters, challenging topics, and compelling plots that are sure to engage readers of all ages. I can’t wait to check out the other authors on the list.

Fun fact: one of the authors is Dean Pitchford, a songwriter, novelist, and screenwriter who has won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award. Dean penned the screenplay for the movie Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon, and co-wrote a song from the movie, Let’s Hear It for the Boy, sung by Deniece Williams. Footloose is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I’ve been playing the soundtrack for years. In fact, last week, I just uploaded the CD to my iTunes playlist. How fun to learn that the Footloose screenwriter is also a novelist.

I’ll let you visit the wiki page to find out more about Dean’s book and the other wonderful authors and titles on the list.

Founded in 2011, Ezvid Wiki was the world’s first video wiki, and is now among the top 3,000 websites in the United States. The YouTube channel has nearly 600,000 subscribers, with over 325 million views since founding.

Wiki.ezvid.com is a free-to-use video wiki published by the California technology company Ezvid Inc. Wikis are generally built around a video, where a user is introduced to a concept via a four-to-seven minute video presentation, and then additional text, images, data, and links to third-party information sources are provided to flesh out each topic.

Head on over to discover some engrossing books for young readers!

 

 

 

14 Hockey Movies The Whole Family Will Enjoy

14 Hockey Movies The Whole Family Will Enjoy

best hockey movies

Are you and your family hockey enthusiasts? This list offers a variety of family-friendly hockey movies. From chimps, to fairies, to figure skating, there’s much hockey to be enjoyed. Which of these hockey movies will you be watching tonight?

ice hockey movies

BreakawayRated PG-13. An ethnic Canadian hockey player with disapproving parents and a dead end job, Rajveer has dreams of making it to the NHL. Enlisting the help of a former pro player, he will try to do the unthinkable and win the biggest tournament of the year with an all Indian team. Breakaway is a crowd-pleasing hockey movie guaranteed to score with the whole family. Featuring heart-warming performances by film and TV all-star Rob Lowe and famed comedian Russell Peters.

hockey movies for kids

Go FigureRated G. A teenager dreams of becoming a champion ice-skater, and soon discovers a top Russian instructor is working at a nearby private school.

miracle hockey movie

In the Crease Rated G. Action-packed and inspiring, this feature-length documentary film follows the real-life story of a teenage hockey team’s quest to win a national championship and also stars over a dozen NHL players sharing their own hockey triumphs.

family hockey movies

Miracle – Rated PG. The ultimate hockey movie, this inspiring true story is about Herb Brooks, the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Soviet squad. Starring Kurt Russell. 

best hockey movies

Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe StoryRated PG. The story of the 1973 hockey season when aging legend Gordie Howe came out of retirement and returned to the ice at age 44 to play with his sons Marty and Mark. He was written off by many, who thought he was too old to play competitively. Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cups and is the only player to have competed in the league in five different decades.

comedy hockey movies

MVP: Most Valuable PrimateRated PG. When Jack, a sign-language-speaking chimp, escapes from an experimental lab, his talent for ice skating soon turns him into the local hockey team’s secret weapon. Steven and his teammates realize the chimp has a natural talent for the game and he officially joins the team. As the team wins game after game, Jack becomes a minor celebrity, attracting the attention of a mad scientist.

good hockey movies

Pond HockeyRated G. Documentary. For generations, Northlanders have grown up on outdoor ice, where the ice is gritty and so is the play. But, there are new climate-controlled arenas in every town, and that’s where the kids go to practice year-round now. Pond Hockey examines this changing culture in search of the true meaning of sport.

great hockey movies

Slap Shot 3: The Junior League Rated PG. The Hanson Brothers are back in this rough and tumble hockey comedy, and who better to whip a ragtag youth team into shape for the upcoming championships than the most unpredictable trio ever to strap on skates? Also stars comedy legend Leslie Nielsen.

kids hockey movies

The Mighty DucksRated PG. In the first film of this hockey movie franchise, Emilio Estevez stars as a self-centered Minnesota trial lawyer sentenced to community service coaching a hapless team of peewee hockey players. Can he turn the ragtag team into champs? Also look for the sequels: D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3:The Mighty Ducks.

hockey films

Score: A Hockey Musical – A homeschooled hockey prodigy takes his shot at the big time in this sports musical featuring songs by Olivia Newton-John.

kids sports movies

The Rocket – The Legend of Rocket Richard – Rated PG. A story about Quebec’s most famous hockey player, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, focusing on the struggles of a French Canadian in the National Hockey League dominated by Anglophones.

hockey movies for children

Tooth FairyRated PG. A bad deed on the part of a tough minor-league hockey player results in an unusual sentence: He must serve one week as a real-life tooth fairy. Starring Dwayne Johnson.

How many of these hockey movies have you enjoyed watching? Tell us which is your favorite hockey movie, even if it is not listed above.

 

Disney YouTuber Mr. Cheezy Pop One Of Best Audiobook Narrators For YA Books

Disney YouTuber Mr. Cheezy Pop One Of Best Audiobook Narrators For YA Books

Hockey Rivals Books

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Disney YouTuber Mr. Cheezy Pop One Of Best Audiobook Narrators For YA Books

best audiobook narrators

What do the Hockey Rivals Books, Disney, and the popular time travel show Timeless all have in common? Audiobook narrator, actor, and YouTuber Maxwell Glick, who I truly believe is one of the best audiobook narrators around for YA and kids’ books.

As I recently shared, the Audible audiobook edition of Offsides (Hockey Rivals Book #2) was released this spring. Maxwell narrated Face-Off (Hockey Rivals Book #1) several years ago, and I was thrilled that he returned for the sequel—with a little help from the TV show Timeless. Before we get into that, let me tell you a little bit about Maxwell, whose youthful voice is perfect in audiobooks about young people.

His channel “mrcheezypop” is a family friendly destination where he takes you on magical adventures in happiness. From tips and tricks at Disney Theme Parks, to trying the latest food and drink all over the world, to sharing his own life in Los Angeles, Maxwell brings a much needed dose of positivity to viewers. He’s also an award winning actor and voice actor starring in the Emmy Award winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, appearing on numerous TV shows such as The Office, Castle, The Mentalist, and Timeless, has recorded voice work for major companies like Nickelodeon and Hasbro, and has recorded over 100 audiobooks, winning multiple awards for his work. For more Max, check him out on Patreon at patreon.com/mrcheezypop, and of course YouTube at youtube.com/mrcheezypop.

The Timeless Connection

On New Year’s Day, I was thinking of doing an audiobook edition of my latest release Offsides, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time as I had several projects in the works. I hadn’t talked to Maxwell in a few years and wasn’t sure if he would be available. Like I said, he is one of the best audiobook narrators around for YA books, plus he has an extremely popular YouTube channel, so I knew he would have a busy schedule.

That morning, my husband and I were watching Timeless on the DVR. My husband had gotten me into the time travel series, (I wish it was still on!) and we were binge watching. After the latest episode, a name jumped out at me in the credits. Maxwell Glick! We went back and found Maxwell in a guest spot. He was in costume, so I hadn’t recognized him—although how I didn’t pick up on the voice of Brad and T.J. McKendrick from the Face-Off Audible book is beyond me since he had several lines in the show. When I listened to his dialogue again, it was so obvious.

Anyway, I took this concidence as a sign that I should contact him. I dashed off an email to Maxwell, and within a few days, we had decided to pursue the project through ACX. He did a fantastic job as I knew he would. It amazes me how he can make each character sound different. If you’re planning any long car trips this summer and need to keep your teens and tweens entertained, definitely consider the Hockey Rivals audiobook editions. Let’s read on to learn more about Max, but first here is a video about what it was like for him to appear on Timeless.

Disney Magic

Another coincidence is that Maxwell and I both love the Disney theme parks. I mean, seriously love them! Let’s start with me. I got engaged at Epcot on a bench near Norway. Before we met, my husband had been to Walt Disney World over 30 times. We went to Paris on our honeymoon, and we of course had to visit Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately, that little excursion didn’t go so well. They put some kind of sauce on my burger, and let’s just say it didn’t agree with me. I wound up sitting on a hill most of the day and threw up on the train ride back to the hotel. Despite that bad day, I continued to love theme parks. In fact, I write the Storybook Valley chick lit series set at a theme park. So far, it includes the romantic comedies Fooling Around With Cinderella and Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.

best Audible narrators

As you’ll see on his YouTube Channel, Maxwell visits Disney theme parks all the time. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll love his videos! Unfortunately, we had one disagreement. He calls the Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom “the single greatest attraction Disney has ever made.” I refer to it as “the ride from hell” since I developed a serious case of motion sickness on that ride, and so did my kids. While I agree that in theory, this 3D flight was impressive, I didn’t see much of it as I was squeezing my eyes shut and praying for it to be over before I vomited. It was like a flashback to the saucy burger in Paris when I was praying, Please don’t let me wind up in a French hospital for food poisoning. Below, you can see a video that Maxwell posted about the ride. He exited in awe from the amazing experience; when I went, I stumbled off in awe that I hadn’t hurled.

Luckily, our strong opinions about Avatar Flight of Passage didn’t get in the way of our audiobook production. I asked Maxwell how he got so interested in Disney, and this was his response: 

 

“My love of Disney started as a kid because we took many vacations to Walt Disney World. Once I moved to LA and was so close to Disneyland, my love of it grew even stronger. I started making videos about Disney because I wanted to share my happy place with the rest of the world! The most rewarding part of it is when kids and families come up to me in the parks and say ‘mrcheezypop!’  Seeing the people who watch me in person is really special for me.”
 

Interview With Maxwell

Maxwell and I also discovered another coincidence. Before he moved to LA to follow his dream of being an actor, he went to Boston College. Ironically, that’s the school where the fictional McKendrick brothers want to land a scholarship to play Division 1 hockey. BC is mentioned quite a bit in Offsides, and Maxwell says he had fun performing those scenes. Below is the rest of my interview with Maxwell.

Tell us about your TV roles and your Taco John’s commercial campaign.

Being on TV is really wonderful. You get to work with the best people in the business, and I’ve been lucky enough to share the screen with people like Steve Carrel, Nathan Fillion, and Simon Baker. The Office was one of those dream jobs for me since I was such a fan of the show before appearing on it. Taco John’s was a great job for me because it was an ongoing campaign and I got to do over five commercials, and many voiceovers for them. That was one of the best jobs I’ve had. I was fortunate to be cast on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which is a modern vlog style version of Pride & Prejudice. I played Mr. Collins. The show became somewhat of a sensation and won an Emmy. One of the coolest moments of my career, for sure. You can see the show in its entirety on YouTube.

How did you catch the acting bug?

I’ve always been acting or singing for as long as I can remember. I was in all of the shows in school, and I knew there was nothing else I would want to do.

How does it feel to watch yourself on television?

Seeing myself on TV or hearing myself is actually a thrill for me. Getting to see the work you did with all of the elements put together, is quite exciting. I don’t think that will ever change for me, no matter how many shows I’m on!

You’ve narrated over 100 audiobooks. Do you have any favorites? (Besides the Hockey Rivals books, of course!)

I really enjoyed reading the Joshua Dread series and also recently recorded another wonderful middle grade book called Maxi’s Secret.

When you act in a play, a TV show or a film, you can use nonverbal communication, movement and props to enrich the performance. Do you have any tricks or techniques that you use to help your audiobook performances come alive?

To make audiobooks come alive, I really tend to become that character I’m portraying. I’m often very animated when I’m reading, and very expressive with my hands. I think that really helps and comes through in the performance.

What is your process for approaching an audiobook? Do you read the whole book first so you know what’s coming, or do you like to be surprised and just take it one chapter at a time?

Sometimes I read the whole book, other times I skim it. It really depends on my deadline. Always though, I at least skim it so I know where the story is going and if something happens towards the end of the book that I need to know at the beginning involving a character. This could change the way a character is portrayed.

Does your voice ever get tired? Do you have to do anything special to take care of your voice?

My voice definitely gets very tired after long audiobook sessions. The key is water, water, water! All day I drink water when I’m recording, and even when I’m not! Tea is wonderful too. A nice 30 minute break after an hour and a half can go a long way as well.

Let’s talk hockey. What’s your favorite team and do you have any favorite players?

My favorite team is the Winnipeg Jets. When I was a kid growing up in New York, I was a New York Jets football fan, and thought, hey I can be a fan of two Jets teams, so I became a Winnipeg fan! Of course, it saddened me when they left, but when they moved back to Winnipeg, I was a fan again! I’m really hoping I can go to Winnipeg one day and see them play. My favorite player was always Teemu Selanne.

Maxwell Glick Around the Web: 

Twitter
You Tube
Instagram

Get A Free Audiobook!

Below is more information about our Hockey Rivals audiobooks. Here is the blurb for Offsides:

Twin hockey stars T.J. and Brad have finally resolved their differences and forged a friendship on and off the ice. Now high school seniors, they focus on landing a commitment to a D1 school.

What should have been the best year ever takes a nasty hit when the boys’ parents announce their divorce, and Brad makes a mistake that could impact his game eligibility. Meanwhile, T.J. faces off against their father, who opposes his decision to delay college and pursue junior hockey.

Adding to the tension are a rebellious kid brother, girlfriend trouble, and recruiting pressure. The turmoil threatens to drive the twins apart just when they need to work together the most. With a championship title and their futures at stake, T.J. and Brad must fight to keep from going offsides.

If you start a free trial with Audible, you can get an audiobook for free! How’s that for a deal?

Buy Face-Off on Audible

Buy Offsides on Audible

 

Listen To The Audible Samples Below:

New Bobby Orr Book Chronicles An Extraordinary Boston Bruins Legend

New Bobby Orr Book Chronicles An Extraordinary Boston Bruins Legend

Hockey Rivals Books

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New Bobby Orr Book Chronicles An Extraordinary Boston Bruins Legend

As a lifelong Boston Bruins fans, I love Bobby Orr. That’s why I was delighted to see a new book out about his life and legendary hockey journey.

Kevin Vautour, a member of the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR) and the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society; and Kerry Keene, a freelance writer and lifelong follower of Boston sports, have published their book Number 4: Bobby Orr! a heartwarming account depicting the phenomenal life of Orr and his contribution to the world of hockey that inspires others with respect and determination.

Authors Vautour and Keene delve into the persona of one amazing hockey player and the era of Bruin’s greatest peak. Here is the blurb:

Bursting upon the National Hockey League scene in the fall of 1966 amid enormous hype and expectations, Robert Gordon “Bobby” Orr would go on to exceed all predictions of greatness. Displaying All-Star level ability from the start, it was his talent as a play maker and scorer that utterly revolutionized the game of hockey.

At the same time, Orr helped revive a tired, long-suffering Boston Bruins team, leading them to their first Stanley Cup in 29 years at the age of 22. Orr and his teammates would drink from the Cup again two years later as he continued to cement his legacy with MVP Awards and Norris Trophies. The unforgettable sight of him rushing the puck up ice with blond hair flying was a thing of sheer athletic beauty.

But Orr’s fragile knees plagued him throughout his career, ultimately forcing him to retire before the age of 30. But in his decade with the Bruins, the remarkable body of work and the greatness he achieved prompt many hockey historians to regard him as the all-around greatest, most skillful player in history.

Vautour and Keene state that, “May 10, 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the flying Orr goal that helped the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup in 29 years. That team and that goal inspired an entire region of men and woman, boys and girls to follow the game of hockey and the Boston Bruins.”

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Kevin Vautour and Kerry Keene’s riveting tale presents an encouraging perspective that proves how one man can revolutionize the world with sheer passion and dedication for his chosen field.

Buy it on Amazon

For more information on Orr, visit his official website.

How The Boston Bruins And Team USA Inspired The Hockey Rivals Books

How The Boston Bruins And Team USA Inspired The Hockey Rivals Books

Hockey Rivals Books

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How The Boston Bruins And Team USA Inspired The Hockey Rivals Books

What do the Boston Bruins and the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team have to do with my Hockey Rivals series? Actually, quite a lot.  Here’s the story of why it took me 26 years to publish a sequel to my classic YA hockey book Face-Off. How crazy is it that the sequel, Offsides, just came out last fall?

It’s even crazier when you consider that I wrote Face-Off when I was a teenager. I got really obsessed with pro hockey during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It started with the 1988 Olympics, which featured hockey players like Brian Leetch, Craig Janney, and Tony Granato. Once it ended, I started following the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins were awesome, playing the Edmonton Oilers in the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals. They lost, but they were still awesome. Soon, I had posters of Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Craig Janney, and Bob Joyce hanging on my wall. Even though Wayne Gretzky was a rival, he was amazing to watch, and I even had him on my wall. Plus he was marrying actress Janet Jones, who I loved in the gymnastics movie American Anthem. So, I could forgive him for not being a Bruin.

In high school, I kept painstaking records of the Boston Bruins’ wins and losses. An avid reader, I also read any magazines and books about NHL hockey that I could get my hands on. I had a subscription to Hockey Digest and I’d pick up copies of Hockey Illustrated at the store. My dad took me to Bruins games and I’d buy various publications at Boston Garden. I read Gretky’s autobiography, and biographies of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. But I couldn’t find any YA hockey books at the library or in bookstores. Since I liked to write, I decided to write my own hockey books for teens – partly to entertain myself and partly on a whim. I’d seen an ad in Tiger Beat magazine for a young adult novel competition, open to teenagers, and I decided to write a YA hockey book and enter it in the competition.

YA hockey book

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I had a blast writing my hockey story of two brothers, T.J. and Brad McKendrick, who battle on and off the ice. I wrote in a notebook during high school study hall (and ahem, during boring classes when the teacher wasn’t looking) and my friend Joanne would give me feedback. I typed it at home on a Brother word processor. (Remember those?) I set the book in Massachusetts, a hockey hotbed, and made the boys Boston Bruins fans.

To my shock, I got a telegram during my freshman year in college, notifying me that I had won. I received a contract from a major New York publisher and it was a whirlwhind of local newspaper publicity and booksignings. I received fan letters like this one asking for a sequel:

“This is, by far, one of the best books I have ever read. Face-Off has an excellent climax and a superb plot . . . This is one book I think every hockey fan should read. Your book shows how in hockey, it’s not a one-man show and it takes a whole team to win. I know a sequel to Face-Off would be great. I couldn’t change any part of this story to make it better if I tried.”
– Adam from Ohio

Behind The Scenes Of A YA Hockey Book

So, in 1993, I decided to write a sequel. I finished the first draft of Offsides when I was twenty, a college sophomore. But when I submitted it to the publisher, there had been a major restructuring and my editor was gone. No one there remembered Face-Off as I got rejected with a form letter. Then I sent the story to other publishers. They weren’t interested in a sequel to a novel published by another company. Since no one would publish it, I put the book in a drawer.

Fast forward to 2011. After years of working as a reporter and continuing to write fiction, I was back in the publishing game with two adult mystery novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, and my young adult supernatural thriller Dark Before Dawn. Thanks to the growth of ebooks, there were many more opportunities for authors than there had been in the 1990s.

Since Face-Off was only available from used bookstores, I self-published a second edition in ebook, paperback, and Audible formats. It immediately started selling, and I vowed to publish Offsides also. I hired a company to scan my old manuscript into a computer so I could work with it again.

The book needed a lot of rewriting. I began researching junior hockey and Division 1 scholarships, but when my daughter was diagosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2013, it hit me hard, and I stopped writing. When the words finally started flowing again, my muse was directing me to write my Storybook Valley romantic comedy series for adults. I needed to write something light and funny.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about my old friends Brad, T.J., Chris, and Jory, especially since mothers and grandmothers kept emailing me to ask about a sequel. Suddenly, I was inspired to go back to it before another generation outgrew the book.

This was one of the strangest, most rewarding, projects I’ve ever undertaken as I had such a unique collaborator–my teenage self. Once I got going, writing in the voices of the McKendrick boys felt totally natural to me. The twenty-five year wall disappeared and it was as if no time had passed. Over the next six months, I rewrote every single word. I’m grateful to my teenage self though, as she provided the basic outline. My adult self fleshed it out and improved the writing. I have to admit, it was fun giving the boys cell phones and showing them texting and on social media.

It was also interesting as my original “outline” was penned by a teenager, but when I was rewriting it, I had a parent’s perspective. Part of Face-Off‘s charm is that it was written by a teen for teens. With Offsides, it was neat to have my teenage self collaborate with my adult self and to blend both perspectives. I am also grateful to the organization College Hockey, Inc. for answering my questions about junior hockey and Division 1 scholarships.

Here is the blurb for the sequel. Twin hockey stars Brad and T.J. have finally resolved their differences and forged a friendship on and off the ice. What should have been the best year ever takes a nasty hit when the boys’ parents announce their divorce, and Brad makes a mistake that could impact his game eligibility. Meanwhile, T.J. faces off against their father, who opposes his decision to delay college and pursue junior hockey.

Adding to the tension are a rebellious kid brother, girlfriend trouble, and recruiting pressure. The turmoil threatens to drive the twins apart just when they need to work together the most. With a championship title and their futures at stake, T.J. and Brad must fight to keep from going offsides.

The book is available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats. I’m excited as the Audible audiobook edition came out last week, and in a neat twist of fate, the Boston Bruins are going to be facing the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals next week. How nice that the B’s inspired me to write Face-Off, and that Boston Bruins hockey is still going strong.

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