AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.
Having just begun to learn to snowboard, thirteen-year-old Dennis faces a frightening challenge when he allows a bully to shame him into racing on a difficult slope. It is a new sport to him, and one that Dennis's friends think would be natural since snowboarding and skateboarding uses such similar moves and techniques. Making the jump from the streets to the slopes should be a breeze for Dennis. Only Dennis knows it won't be so. Tasha and Robbie, his best friends, give real support. Dale Morgan, who is great at snowboarding, helps Dennis conquer the slopes despite the terrible ordeal of having to prove himself to Rick and Pat who make fun of him. Can a skateboard pro conquer the slopes? This is a great book for upper elementary and early middle school students. It will be good for the high interest/low vocabulary student as well as for the fast lower elementary reader. It is one of the "Matt Christopher Sports Library" books. Reviewer: Naomi Butler
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7Dennis O'Malley, 13, loves to skateboard. However, even though he lives in a winter sports resort area, he's reluctant to try snowboarding because of a skiing accident that occurred when he was much younger. Eventually, the boy overcomes his fears and his parents surprise him with a snowboard for Christmas. After a few days, he has managed to make his way down the slopes without too much difficulty. He's drawn into the more daring aspects of the sport, as he will do anything to avoid being called a "chicken." This leads him to embark upon a foolhardy race down a dangerous slope. He wins, but is properly contrite, knowing where his actions might have led. Having found an older mentor, Dennis eventually becomes an "awesome" snowboarder. Following his tried-and-true formula, Christopher offers nothing new here in terms of plotthe story simply involves a different type of apparatus stuck to the feet. However, he includes some of the terminology of snowboarding (he avoids mentioning how Dennis deals with the financially crippling lift fees); and the plot, though simple, slides along with enough super moguls along the way to please snowboarders and perhaps some others as well.Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL