Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 13
- Grade: 4 to 8
- Reading age: 7 to 10
Hockey rules in Branko Stimac's new hometown, where its star players get the royal treatment. Any other sport -- like soccer, where Branko excels -- is considered second-rate. This means the sacrifices Branko's Croatian immigrant father made so he can play in Canada go unnoticed, as does Branko's stellar goalkeeping.
When Branko makes it onto the Edmonton Select team as the second-string keeper, he keeps the accomplishment to himself, sure that no one in his home town will care. But then a video of one of his spectacular saves gets posted on a sports blog and goes viral. Suddenly Branko has more attention than he dreamed of.
About the author
Steven Sandor is a veteran and somewhat grumpy sports and music journalist. He spent seven years working with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. The former editor-in-chief of Edmonton's Vue Weekly, Steve is now a senior editor with 24 Hours in Toronto. His work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada, the US, the UK, Hungary and the Czech Republic. He enjoys writing about sports that have goals—hockey and soccer. Steve enjoys spending as much time as he can with his wife and son, and making strange electronic music. He supports Arsenal. For more on Steve please visit www.stevensandor.com or read his blog at www.blog.canoe.ca/thefull90.
- Commended, One of the Year's Best for 2012 -- Resource Links
"An authentic portrayal of hockey versus soccer along with a convincing immigrant story mark Playing For Keeps as truly Canadian."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"a short, lively novel... This is a book about an Edmontonian soccer player and it provides an accurate reflection of that community"
"Author Sandor deals with these issues in an appealingly realistic manner"