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November 11, 2018

Kate's Really Good at Hockey by Christina Frey & Howard Shapiro ~ a Review

by MK French

Kate was finally accepted to go to an elite hockey camp in Denver over the summer. While she was looking forward to staying in the dorm, her mother decides that she should stay with her grandmother instead. Her grandmother had never shown an interest in hockey, so Kate is disappointed. There are girls who bully her and a coach that seems to let it happen, which makes her summer even worse. When Kate discovers secrets family members kept from her, she is upset and feels as though her summer is ruined.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Kate's Really Good at Hockey
November 2018; Animal Media Group
978-1947895065; ebook, print (112 pages)
middle grades, graphic novel
Kate's Really Good at Hockey is a story about friendships, families and mother/daughter relationships. Kate is "almost thirteen" in the text of the story, which is a rough age to balance the need for independence as well as the parents' need to protect from harm. She wants so much to be independent and live out her dream of being a hockey player,  which is the part of her that's growing up and creating goals. There's also the side of her that wants everything to be fair, which real life hardly ever is. The comic never once shies away from the reality of a sports camp, that it's a lot of hard work and practice; as much as the head coach seems like the bad guy, nothing she says is actually wrong. Kate's rivals are like every other catty girl that had ever been present in school, so readers will definitely be familiar with that kind of personality.

The art in this comic is very brightly colored, and the flashback sequences are more sepia-toned. It's a great way to separate the present day from the story that Kate's grandmother told. The secrets held by Kate's family members are ones that would be common in families, so it's another feature that readers will be able to relate to. Based on Kate's age, I would think that middle grade and junior high school readers are the target audience. My ten year old read this with me, and really liked Kate and her struggles. The sequences where she bonded with her grandmother really touched her, so the authors and artist really knocked it out of the park for that part of the story. These are approachable characters, and show how adversity can be worked through and triumphed over, and that it's never too late to rebuild relationships.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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  1. My daughter and I really enjoyed this book together.

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful review! The book (my very biased opinion) tells such a sweet story and I love the characters so much. Thanks again for the amazing review, it means a lot!!