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A Goal in Sight

by Jacqueline Guest

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list price: $8.95
also available: Paperback Hardcover Paperback
published: 2012
imprint: Lorimer
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 13
4 to 8
Reading age:
7 to 10
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

A Goal in Sight

In this Sports Stories series novel, Aiden is a tough enforcer on his local hockey team. Encouraged by his dad, he hits, hooks and slams anyone in his way. When he is finally sent to court for assault, Aiden’s community service punishment is to spend his Saturdays with a younger blind boy. Eric’s wild sunglasses and bizarre fashion statements are his way of dealing with the sighted world and Aiden slowly learns to respect him for it. With the help of his Aboriginal probation officer, he comes to enjoy his time with Eric and discovers that even blind people can play hockey. Helping out with the Seeing Ice Dogs teaches him that there are other ways to play than by being a bully. When his probation is over, Aiden has some difficult choices to make but he has learned enough to do the right thing.

Guest is a Métis writer. This book is a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2009-2010.

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Aiden is the roughest player on his Calgary hockey team, as likely to be in the penalty box as on the ice.

When he hits another player after a game, however, he's charged with assault and sentenced to one hundred hours of community service. He's bored and annoyed when he's forced to help Eric, a blind player with the Calgary Seeing Eye Dogs. In time, his new team shows him hockey is more fun on the ice than in the box.

A Goal in Sight is the story of an unlikely friendship that teaches a troubled kid the value of fair play. [Fry Reading Level - 5.0

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Chapter 1 Aiden Walsh timed his strike perfectly. Gripping his hockey stick tightly with both hands, he lined up his target in his sights and went in for the kill. The kid never knew what hit him. The guy hit the boards with a satisfying whump, then went down onto the ice. The ref's whistle blew before Aiden had taken half a stride. Aiden didn't bother looking at the ref. He knew he'd drawn a five-minute major for cross-checking but he didn't care. He'd taken the Springhill Rangers' lead scorer out. He knew the coach would keep the guy on the bench for a couple of shifts to recover and with so little time left in the game, that's all Aiden's team, the Oakridge Devils, would need. They were in the lead and now, they would keep it. The rest of the Rangers were next to useless at goal scoring and posed no threat. Here in Calgary, Alberta, everyone knew Aiden Walsh was the toughest defenceman in the league and the Devils were winners because of it. Aiden glided over to the penalty box. He wouldn't have much time once he'd sat out his stupid penalty, but he wanted to nuke one more guy before the end of the game. He scanned the ice for the irritating forward. The kid's jersey advertised him as Walberg 33. He was fast and way too accurate with his shots. The annoying winger was the only remaining Ranger who might be a threat to the Devils' lead. Walberg had also checked him hard, sending Aiden into the boards and that was something Aiden couldn't let the guy get away with. He had a reputation to uphold. They'd been dicing all game and Aiden wanted to teach the guy a real lesson about messing with the Devils?and Aiden Walsh. Anxiously, he watched the action on the ice. He was itching to get back out there. He always hated having to waste precious minutes in the penalty box, but that was all part of playing tough hockey. Looking up into the stands behind the Devils' bench, Aiden saw his dad, Charlie, in his usual seat. Aiden had always called his dad Charlie, which suited the big man more than Daddy or Father. Charlie wasn't the kind of guy who liked soft and fuzzy. Charlie waved at Aiden and gave the thumbs-up sign, then pounded his fist into the palm of his hand. This was their signal that it was a great hit and his dad really approved. Aiden grinned back and nodded his head. His dad pointed to a Ranger player on the ice. It was Walberg 33. Charlie had apparently spotted him as a problem as well. Aiden watched the skater for a moment, then nodded his head at his dad, agreeing. All he needed was a couple of minutes to set up his run at his final target of the game. "Try to spend more time on the ice than in the penalty box, Aiden!" Jamie Cook, the Devils' captain, called as he skated past. "You do your job, Cook, and I'll do mine," Aiden yelled back, keeping his eyes on the Ranger forward. He and Jamie used to be friends, but lately they hadn't been getting along very well. The guy should make up his mind what he wanted. Aiden's tactics had never been questioned before. He was the Devils' muscle and he'd always done a great job at taking out players who got in the way of a win. Sure he took a lot of penalties, but that was part of it. "I'm trying, but I need all my players to be on the same side!" Jamie called over his shoulder. Aiden shook his head, irritated. Jamie was referring to earlier in the game when, while trying to crush one of the opposition into the boards, Aiden had miscalculated and bounced Steven Becker, the Devils' forward, instead. Accidents happen. It wasn't his fault Steven hadn't been fast enough in getting out of the way! After what seemed like forever, the penalty box timekeeper released him. He hit the ice with his skates on fire. Walberg 33 was at the other end of the rink in his own zone. Aiden circled the far side of the ice, ignoring the puck action and zeroing in on his target. The forward saw him coming and headed back down to the Devils' end. Aiden started picking up speed, calculating just where he would take him out. He was totally focused. The shrill of the buzzer signalling the end of the game made Aiden's head snap up. He thought he had a couple more minutes and that's all he would have needed. The Devils had won 6–3. That meant the Devils were closing in on first place in the Calgary Minor Hockey League, something the team had never done before. He spotted Walberg skating toward the Rangers' bench and debated on whether he should take him out anyway, but decided he could wait until their next game together. Aiden lined up with the other players to shake hands. He noticed a lot of the Ranger players didn't want to shake his hand, but he didn't care. They weren't important; they were losers?6–3 losers! After changing, Aiden headed out to the parking lot to wait for his dad to pull up in their old Chevy truck. He looked up at the night sky. Large flakes of snow were softly falling out of the darkness. He could feel them land on his eyelashes and cheeks

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Contributor notes

JACQUELINE GUEST is a Metis writer who lives in Bragg Creek, Alberta. She is the author of 10 previous Lorimer novels, including Hat Trick, Free Throw, Rookie Season, and A Goal in Sight, which are Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice selections, and the SideStreets novels Lightening Rider, Racing Fear and At Risk. A Goal in Sight was also nominated for a Golden Eagle Award.

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About the Author

Jacqueline Guest

JACQUELINE GUEST is a Metis writer who lives in Bragg Creek, Alberta. Her books are frequently selected as Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens. A Goal in Sight was nominated for a Golden Eagle Award. In 2012, Free Throw and Triple Threat won the American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Middle School Book and Jacqueline also won the Indspire Award.
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