Hockey Mom Book Club: Breakaway by Michael Betcherman
Summer is the perfect time to catch up some reading. Rink time has slowed down (hopefully) and long, lazy, hot days just beg for you to pick up a good book. Of course, my selections also include hockey themed books so stay tuned each week for a different title and even ones that your player might enjoy! Disclosure: I have not received compensation for this review however the author Michael Betcherman did send me a copy of this book complimentary.
What do you do when life as you know it suddenly falls apart? Sixteen year old Nick Macklin finds that out when his Vancouver Canuck father is prosecuted for murder and goes to prison. Forced to live with his dad's agent, Nick becomes withdrawn, quits the hockey team, loses focus in school AND his girlfriend. Convinced his father is innocent, Nick sets out to find the real killer and perhaps the old life he's left behind.
Set in Canada, Michael Betcherman's Breakaway is a fictional account of a teen with nothing to lose and everything to gain in this hockey whodunit. The story follows Nick in his determination to prove his father's innocence and bring the real killer to justice. The story explores the themes of betrayal, loss and the ideal that even in the worst of circumstances you have to stay strong in your beliefs.
With hockey as the backdrop, there is definitely enough team and game action to get your player hooked, while the mystery keeps them guessing with some twists and turns. I would have preferred a few more twists; however that might have made the story too long for some readers and the book clocks in at 249 pages.
The short chapters keep the action moving in Breakaway which is perfect for the shorter attention span of most teens. Something that I particularly enjoyed was that there was something for everyone, hockey action, suspense and even a little romance. This book would appeal to both young men and women although some briefly used sexual slang, even though common among the age group, was a little off putting.
Breakaway is considered young adult so it's not for your younger of players due to its more adult themes and the above mentioned sexual slang.
Interesting note Betcherman's book was shortlisted for the John Spray Mystery Award, a Canadian honor for those books aimed at readers 8 to 16. You can get a copy of Michael Betcherman's Breakaway through Amazon.
For a suspenseful story with just enough hockey, I give Breakaway four pucks out of 5.