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Children's Fiction Special Needs

Stick Pick

by (author) Steven Sandor

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Special Needs, Hockey, Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 3
  • Reading age: 7 to 8


Star player Janine leads her hockey team to victory at the provincial championships. But on the way home from the game, a car accident leaves her paralyzed from the waist down. Her best friend and teammate, Rowena, urges Janine to look into sledge hockey. Adapting to her new life, Janine meets frustration at every turn. Soon Janine begins to appreciate her new sport. Her experiences lead her to speak up about rights for the disabled, taking her cause all the way to the professional sports arena. She might be a sledge hockey rookie, but she knows she's up for any challenge.

Based on real-life experience and research, this story tracks the emotional and physical challenges of first dealing with disability.

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 or read his blog at

Steven Sandor's profile page


  • Winner, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection
  • Winner, Resource Links The Year's Best - Fiction Grades 7-12

Editorial Reviews

"I enjoyed this read. Her 'Patient Diary' was a tribute to learning to survive her tragedy. Her opinion of the visits she described was very telling as was her adjustment to returning home and to school. There were parts of the section of 'Coming Home' and 'The Presentation' that were humorous and the description of Sledge Hockey was well written."

NetGalley Reviewer

"It talks about some important things and I don't see a lot of hockey books, let alone sledge ... hockey books."

NetGalley Reviewer

The story of a female star hockey player who goes out celebrating and ends up in a bad accident and loses the use of her legs. Great for young readers, really inspiring."

Edmonton Journal

"The sledge hockey, along with a school assignment, help Janine rediscover her love of hockey and a passion for helping others understand the daily challenges people face with accessibility."

NetGalley Reviewer

"This story provides a vivid account of an underrepresented sport thatwill be new to many readers, and Sandor's experience as a sports broadcaster is evident in the text, in everything from the pucks hitting the ice to the slapping of the hockey sticks. And while the relentless pitch of Janine's rage, self-pity, and rudeness make her difficult to sympathize with at times, the story creates a terrific opportunity to start a discussion about accessibility issues for people with disabilities."


"Janine and her story will open many eyes to things able-bodied people take for granted and will shed a bright light on sledge hockey."

CM: Magazine

"This book clearly portrays the difficulties encountered by Janine, her family and her friends. the chapter where the family decides to eat out in a restaurant is an excellent example of the frustrations. as protagonist, Janine is not always likeable: her thoughts and actions are often rude and selfish. But this honesty make Stick Pick both believeable and powerful. Highly Recommended."

Resource Links

"This book is based on real life experiences and deals with both the emotional and physical challenges that come with having a disability! "

NetGalley Reviewer

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