Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 13
- Grade: 3
- Reading age: 8 to 9
On the surface, fourteen-year-old Chris is pretty average, playing hockey and having friends. But underneath it all, Chris is depressed, full of self-blame and negative thoughts. He quits his hockey team, feeling he has let them down, but his doctor suggests that he should pick up another sport. Chris starts playing soccer, and the positive benefits of sport start to take effect: he is motivated and has fewer self-doubts. But former hockey teammate Trent is on the team, and his suspicions about Chris and his emotional state threaten Chris's acceptance and recovery. When Chris and Trent are chosen for a team to play in a summer tournament, Chris decides to keep his depression a secret. But will rumour and stigma about his condition make him relapse and turn his own team against him?
About the author
ALEX O?BRIEN left a career in human resources to write novels, scripts and songs. He has been a finalist and winner of several writing competitions. He is the author of the Lorimer sports story The Playmaker. Alex lives in Parry Sound, Ontario.
"A beautiful story that should be read by kids and those adults who work with kids."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"... the in-depth game play will attract sports fans."
School Library Journal
"An accessible, informative read that demystifies depression and mental health challenges for children and preteens."