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Children's Fiction Winter Sports

The Rocket

by (author) Mike Leonetti

illustrated by Greg Banning

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
Winter Sports
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 10
  • Grade: 2 to 4



A nostalgic story about hockey, brothers, and the Montreal Canadiens breakout star — Maurice "Rocket" Richard!

Andre lives in Montreal and loves to play hockey. But he's always being compared to his older brother, whose game is much better than his own. Resigned to living in Marcel's shadow, Andre finds solace when he he meets another boy, who also gets razzed for not playing like his brother. Meanwhile, Canadiens fans are excitedly watching their beloved team climb to the top with the help of a new young star, Maurice Richard.

Andre's father works at the plant where Richard works during the day. One day, he comes home with tickets to the playoff series between Montreal and Toronto, one of which is on March 23, 1944 — the night Richard ends up scoring five goals and being named all three stars of the game! Andre is thrilled to be there, and is surprised when he notices the boy he played against at the rink is also at the game — and even more surprised when he learns this boy's identity and that of the older brother who keeps outshining him!

In The Rocket, Mike Leonetti brings young hockey fans to a special time and place in hockey, while telling some universal truths about brothers, competition, and a desire to make one's own mark.


About the authors


Mike Leonetti
connaît bien le hockey. Il est l'auteur de plusieurs livres mettant en
vedette des joueurs célèbres. Parmi ses ouvrages, on peut citer :Le but du siècle, Le grand Gretzky, Bobby Orr, un joueur en or et Le gardien masqué. L'auteur
est aussi un collectionneur passionné d'objets et de souvenirs se
rapportant au monde du hockey.


Mike Leonetti has written numerous books for both children and adults about the good ol' hockey game. His current picture book series with Scholastic is about hockey heroes and includes titles such as Crosby's Golden Goal, The Rocket, and The Mighty Tim Horton. A lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Mike lives in Woodbridge, Ontario, with his wife and son.

Mike Leonetti's profile page


GREG BANNING has illustrated several of Mike Leonetti’s hockey books, including A Hero Named Howe, The Mighty Tim Horton, The Rocket and Wendel and The Great One.


Greg Banning's profile page

Librarian Reviews

The Rocket

Andre loves to play hockey but hates hearing he’ll never measure up to his brother. When the Canadiens make it to the playoffs, Andre’s ecstatic. Better yet, his father scores tickets. At the game Andre learns something that changes how he views hockey, his brother and his family. Short bios of the Richard brothers are included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Other titles by Mike Leonetti

Other titles by Greg Banning