Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
Tara's softball team has been challenged by the boys to put together a winning girls' hockey team. The bet? Whichever team finishes lower in its respective division will have to wear cheerleading outfits (complete with skirts and pompoms) to the other team's entire next season of home games! Tara and her Roadrunners are determined not to give the Hornets the satisfaction.
But winning is going to be an uphill battle for the girls, especially in a hockey-crazed town that cares more about the boys' Junior A team than anything else. So when the boys teams begin screaming for more ice-time, it's the girls teams that get relegated to the graveyard times at the local rinks—if they're lucky. To make matters worse, Tara discovers that the one boy who seems sympathetic to their cause (and super-cute, to boot) is the son of the ice-rink manager and their most belligerent opponent.
What the Roadrunners need is some divine intervention which comes in the shape of Sister Helen, a former women's ice hockey star and their new coach. Inspired to fight for their right to play, the girls launch a campaign to gain fair and equal ice time. Will the town rally behind the girls? And will the Roadrunners pull it together in time to finish ahead of the Hornets and save their dignity?
About the author
Natalie Hyde writes fiction and non-fiction for middle-grade and young adult readers. Her fiction titles include Mine!, Saving Armpit, I Owe You One and Hockey Girl. She is also the author of over forty educational non-fiction books, as well as trade non-fiction titles: Cryptic Canada, Glow-in-the-Dark Creatures and Stay Strong: A Musician’s Journey from Congo to Canada. Her books have garnered award nominations in both Canada and the U.S. She lives in Flamborough, Ontario, with her family.
"Natalie Hyde's latest sports-themed young adult novel, Hockey Girl, is an action-packed story that delicately handles gender equality issues relevant in Canada today... The treatment of sexism in sports is well done, and Hyde accurately represents the inequalities in prestige and opportunities often found in our culture...
"This short novel maintains reader interest throughout with engaging characters, sporting rivalries, and fast-paced hockey action. The portrayal of small town culture is well done, and the solid development of the story and the characters makes Hockey Girl appeal to more than the typical sports fan."
— CM Magazine
"Author Natalie Hyde knows how to write a rollicking good scene, whether it involves the playful banter between adversaries at the local donut shop, or the nail-biting action on the ice. This is a tale not only of girl power, but of what can happen when a community bands together for change."
— Canadian Children Booknews
"This book would support the study of gender equality and would make a great addition to any classroom library."
— Canadian Teacher Magazine