KLIATT - Stephanie East
Stephanie and Josh each live on a ranch; their families own prize bulls from the same bloodline and both have had their bulls and other cows mysteriously slaughtered. There are no roads to the sites where the bulls were killed, no tracks, and very few clues. Josh wants to help solve the puzzlenot only because he is attracted to Stephanie, but also because he raised Big Boy, the bull killed on his ranch. However, this mystery isn't the only one in this brief, easy-to-read novel. Luke and Josh play on the same hockey team. Luke has always been the high-scoring player who hasn't quite figured out that hockey is a team sport. Recently Luke has been skating slower, his shots aren't as accurate, and he is missing plays that should have been easy. Tension between them increases as Luke takes out his frustrations on Josh. What's Luke's problem? The coach tells them they must work it out. The night the boys agree to talk it out is the night that Stephanie and Josh are almost killed trying to solve the mystery of the murdered cows. Luke overcomes his fears and saves their lives, but at the next game the mystery of Luke's poor hockey performance is solvedhe is ill. Josh is there to support and encourage him, and so is the rest of the team. Stephanie, Josh, and Luke discover that even though life is difficult, it is easier when you realize it is a team sport and no one wins on their own.
"An excellent combination of the sports-themed genre with mystery and teen novel elements. Highly Recommended."
"Brouwer's characters are believable, as is his plot, and readers will likely seek out further titles in this series."
Canadian Toy Testing Council
"The reader becomes involved in the excitement of playing hockey, making new friends, and ultimately confronting those who are revealed to be responsible for harming the animals."
Puget Sound Council
"More than just a sports story, Brouwer manages the weave of plots, creating a worthwhile book that will appeal to hockey loving readers as well as adventure and mystery readers. Written at a 3.8 RL, older reluctant readers will also find this a good match."
Read an Excerpt
"You can't do that," Luke said. "If those two guys catch you, they'll kill you."
"If I don't do it," I said, "they're going to kill hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of bloodline bulls. Including the one I used to feed by hand with a bottle."
I turned and ran back toward the barn.