Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 10
- Grade: 1 to 5
Meet Willie O'Ree—Hockey Hall of Famer and a trailblazer for diversity on and off the ice!
On January 18, 1958, Willie O'Ree made history as the first black player in the NHL when he suited up with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens. O'Ree went on to play a total of 45 games with the Bruins, a remarkable achievement considering what he overcame to get there.
In addition to dealing with racism, bigotry and name-calling, Willie lived with a secret disability: he was blind in one eye -- a fact he had to keep to himself, or he'd never play in the NHL. Thanks to his relentless positivity and love of the game, Willie's time with the Bruins was only one of his many achievements in hockey.
The Scholastic Canada Biography series aims to introduce young readers to remarkable Canadians whose lives and contributions have shaped our country and led the way for others to follow in their footsteps. Meet Willie O'Ree is no exception. This wonderful book is a celebration of his life from childhood to playing career, to his later work as an ambassador for NHL diversity, and to his eventual induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.
Written by award-winning author Elizabeth MacLeod, this portrait of Willie O'Ree couples simple yet compelling writing with full-colour, comic-flavoured illustrations by Mike Deas that help bring this fascinating story to life!
About the authors
Liz is one nosy author, which is why she loves writing non-fiction. She’s very curious about why people do what they do, and likes sharing with kids the amazing facts and secrets that she uncovers.As a kid in Thornhill, Ontario, the idea of being a writer never crossed Liz’s mind—she figured most authors were already dead and they definitely weren’t Canadian. Besides, it was science that interested Liz.But writing was already part of Liz’s life. After dinner on school nights, Liz and her two brothers would trudge up to their rooms, close their doors and start to do their homework—or so their parents thought. A few minutes later, a piece of paper would come sliding under Liz’s door. One of her brothers had drawn a picture, usually of some weird creature.Liz really couldn’t draw (still can’t!), so the only way she could respond was to write a short story, often about a mad scientist or space alien. She would slip the story under her brother’s door and—well, not a lot of homework got done.At university, Liz studied sciences—there was hardly any writing involved at all. But after university, she was hired as an editor at OWL magazine, where she could combine writing and her love of science. But it wasn’t long before Liz had a goal: to write a book. Her first one was about lions and since then she’s written more than fifty others.Royal Murder: The Deadly Intrigue of Ten Sovereigns (2008) is one of her favourite books because royalty has always fascinated Liz. She loved going behind the scenes with monarchs from Cleopatra to Dracula to find out just what they would do to hold onto power or protect their families.Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries (2013) was the winner of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada 2014 Arthur Ellis Award in the Juvenile/YA category. Liz’s latest book with Annick Press, Galloping Through History: Incredible True Horse Stories (Spring 2015), combines, once again, her outstanding storytelling skills with her passion for history. This time her love of animals also shines through as she recounts the stories of six horses that changed the way humans live, travel, fight, work, and play.Liz lives in Toronto with her husband, Paul, and their cat Cosimo. While she writes, he is usually sprawled across her desk—often right on the book she needs for research!
Mike Deas est auteur-illustrateur de bandes dessinées, telles que Tank and Fizz and The Case of the Tentacle Terror. Il signe aussi les illustrations de la série Graphic Guide Adventure. Sa passion pour l'illustration a été entretenue tout au long de son enfance à l'île Saltspring, en Colombie-Britannique où il habite encore aujourd'hui.
MIKE DEAS is an author/illustrator of graphic novels, most recently Tank and Fizz and the Case of the Tentacle Terror. He is the illustrator of the Graphic Guide Adventure series. His love for illustrative storytelling comes from an early love of reading and drawing while growing up on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Visit him online at www.deasillustration.com.
- Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (Atlantic Canada)
- Runner-up, Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Children's Choice)
- Commended, TD Summer Reading Club Selection
- Commended, OLA Best Bets, Honourable Mention
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Elizabeth MacLeod makes sure to tell as much of his story as possible, including a timeline with photographs at the end of the story. . . . Though [Mike Deas’s] art is cheerful, it finds a way to demonstrate Willie O’Ree’s experiences with racial discrimination and hardship related to his injury without ever trivializing either. It was a pleasure to meet Willie O'Ree, a pioneer of black achievement in hockey and a hero of sports dreams. (Meet Willie O'Ree) — CanLit for Little Canadians
Other titles by Elizabeth MacLeod
Biographie en images : Voici Clara Hughes
Meet Clara Hughes (Scholastic Canada Biography)
Biographie en images : Voici Buffy Sainte-Marie
Meet Buffy Sainte-Marie (Scholastic Canada Biography)
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