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Children's Nonfiction Sports & Recreation

Willie O'Ree

The story of the first black player in the NHL

by (author) Nicole Mortillaro

Publisher
James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
Category
Sports & Recreation, General, Hockey
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781459413047
    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
    $27.99 USD
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781459415164
    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
    $12.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781459401952
    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
    $9.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781459401976
    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
    $8.99
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781459401969
    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
    $16.95

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18

Description

Willie O'Ree quietly made NHL history at the Montreal Forum on January 18, 1958, when he became the first black player to take to the ice. In the dressing room before the game, his Boston Bruins teammates told him not to worry. If any one of the Montreal players said anything to him, they'd have his back.

There was a round of applause when O'Ree stepped onto the ice, and newspapers ran the story. The colour barrier in the NHL had been broken, yet it would be sixteen years before the next black player, Mike Marson (also a Canadian), was drafted. Four decades later, the NHL pulled O'Ree out of retirement to honour his achievement and make him an ambassador for the NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" program to encourage kids from all backgrounds to play hockey.

This new book by Nicole Mortillaro traces the early life of O'Ree in Fredericton, New Brunswick, his journey to the NHL, highlights from his hockey career, and his work encouraging diversity in the NHL.

[Fry reading level - 4.9

 

About the author

NICOLE MORTILLARO is a children's sports books author and editor. She is an avid hockey fan (Leafs, not Flyers!) and has edited several bestselling children's hockey books. Nicole lives north of Toronto with her daughter.

Nicole Mortillaro's profile page

Awards

  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection (Canadian Children's Book Centre)
  • Commended, One of the Year's Best for 2013 -- Resource Links
  • Short-listed, 2013-14 Red Cedar (Non Fiction) Award

Editorial Reviews

[Mortillaro does paint clear pictures of the sports history and significance, especially in Canada, as well as the racial hostility that ORee braved through much of his playing career.

Booklist

Featured as a "Book of Interest" in The Seniors' Advocate

Seniors Advocate

"Willie O'Ree is well-researched. [Mortillaro has made Willie O'Ree's story an engrossing one. Her writing style is easy to read and suitable for young readers." Highly Recommended.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Nicole Mortillaro

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