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Young Adult Fiction Lgbt

The Player

by (author) Paul Coccia

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Feb 2021
LGBT, Dating & Sex, Hockey
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2021
    List Price
    $27.99 USD

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 2
  • Reading age: 13 to 18


Set in the traditionally homophobic world of amateur hockey, this book follows gay goalie Cooper in his struggle with his feelings for a teammate and coming out to his team. Cooper has been hooking up with teammate Pesh in secret, and has to play along when Pesh dates a girl and even tolerate locker-room homophobic talk. When Pesh outs Cooper online, trying to better his own chances at playing pro, Cooper chooses self-esteem and honesty over sex. With a strong and relatable main character, this book is a realistic, positive look at teen relationships — gay or straight.


About the author

Paul Coccia is the author of The Player and the bestselling Orca Soundings title Cub, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. He has an MFA in creative writing from UBC and lives in Toronto with his family.


Paul Coccia's profile page


  • Long-listed, Forest of Reading - Kid Committee List

Editorial Reviews

"Will draw in and retain the interest of reluctant readers."


Kirkus Reviews

"Recommended for high school libraries."


School Library Journal

"The realistic and engaging content, relatable characters and fast-moving plot will be of interest to reluctant readers, beginning readers, and strong readers looking for a quick, interesting read. Highly Recommended."


CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Fans of hockey are likely to pick up this book and will learn about healthy romantic relationships and the experience of LGBTQ+ players of the sport."


CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Paul Coccia

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