Bruce Brooks, Author HarperTrophy $4.5 (144p) ISBN 978-0-06-440597-3
Brooks's (The Moves Make the Man) face-off of The Wolfbay Wings series takes shape in this credible story of Dixon Woods's (a.k.a. Woodsie's) rookie ice-hockey season. After careful research, Woodsie's competitive mother, a scientist, decides that the champion Wolfbay Wings team is the one her son, a fledgling player, should join. When the 11-year-old protests because he fears he's not good enough (""The Wings rule, Mom--they were totally dominant [last season]""), she'll hear none of it. He starts practicing with the Wings, and during tryouts he learns that the coach and best players from the previous season have left the team, making for a shaky start to the new season. Peppered with blunt though believable dialogue (""You suck,"" announces one of his teammates after Woodsie endures a particularly humiliating practice), the remarkably smart and mature protagonist's sharpshooting, first-person narrative offers an insightful look into the mind of an adolescent whose self-esteem, very realistically, bounces with the rhythm of a yo-yo. A caveat for those new to hockey: there's an abundance of sportscaster-like recounting of play-by-play action that may take some getting used to, but players and fans of the sport will glide through this caper. A second installment focusing on another Wings player, Zip, is due out this same month; and Cody, a November release, gives the series a hat trick. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 144 pages - 978-0-06-027349-1
Prebound-Sewn - 116 pages - 978-0-606-12111-8
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