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Jordin Tootoo

The highs and lows in the journey of the first Inuk to play in the NHL

by Melanie Florence

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sports & recreation, hockey, prejudice & racism
list price: $16.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback Paperback
published: 2010
ISBN:9781552775318
imprint: Lorimer
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 18
Grade:
7 to 12
Reading age:
12 to 18
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and the Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL

On October 9, 2003, Jordin Tootoo played his first NHL game for the Nashville Predators. This was especially impressive because he was the first ever Inuit person to play in the NHL. The story of Jordin’s rise to fame is a captivating one. Life at home in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut was very different from the big cities where he eventually went to pursue his dream. This book chronicles the ups and downs of Tootoo’s personal life and career including his decision to go into rehab in 2010, as he fought to achieve his goal of playing hockey in the NHL. The author combines information about aboriginal life and the history of Canada’s north with hockey facts and Tootoo’s personal data in simple, straightforward text. Includes a glossary.

The suicide of his brother is included in the story.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2011-2012.

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Awards
  • Commended, Honourable Mention - American Indian Youth Literature Award
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Description

Hockey is a relatively new sport in Canada's North. It wasn't until 2003 that Jordin Kudluk "Thunder" Tootoo became the first Inuk to play in an NHL game. Although hockey is a rough sport to begin with, Jordin Tootoo is known for having to "fight his way through." Jordin has had more than his fair share of fights — both on and off the ice. He's had to overcome the social problems that are associated with the North, fight his way through the discrimination and culture shock he encountered after leaving Rankin Inlet and moving to Alberta to play in the Juniors, and see his way through the grief of losing his NHL-bound older brother and hero, Terence Tootoo, to suicide in 2002. This new biography explores the struggles and accomplishments of the most recognized role model for young Aboriginal and Inuit people today. [Fry Reading Level - 4.6

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Contributor notes

MELANIE FLORENCE is a proud Cree and a full-time journalist and children's writer currently based in Toronto. Melanie is working on her first YA novel, the story of an Aboriginal boy growing up on the rez.

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Editorial Reviews

This biography follows Jordin's childhood in the Arctic, rooted in Inuit tradition and his parents' constant support...Photographs and factoid insets spread throughout the biography help the reader visualize Tootoo's childhood. Rich descriptive language brings the reader into the hockey game where "blades cut a path across the ice and breathing rasps." Curriculum Connections: This text lends itself well as a resource for biography research and writing units, supports a character study for sports and Aboriginal heroes, and packs enough action to be a great "book for boys" in a classroom library.

— Canadian Teacher Magazine

...Tootoo's story is as much a tale about two brothers as it is about the love of hockey...With text boxes and photographs that complement the story and contribute to the reader's experience, each page of this fast paced read details Tootoo's ambition and fighting spirit.

— Resource Links

Like her subject, the author doesn't pull many punches in Tootoo's rousing, rather hard-bitten tale, which, thankfully, has a storybook ending aimed directly at teenage-boy reluctant readers.

— www.kirkusreviews.com

"Though the primary focus of this book is hockey, the book covers a wide range of topics and issues that a young reader can take away with them, such as the rights of Inuit people on their land, the federal government's description and recognition of Indigenous peoples, racism"

— Windspeaker

Though the primary focus of this book is hockey...also covers a wide range of topics and issues that will likely lead to further discussion, including rights of Inuit people on their land, the federal government's description and recognition of indigenous peoples, racism and the higher incidence of Aboriginal youth suicide.

— CM Magazine
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


About the Author

Melanie Florence

Melanie Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto. She was close to her grandfather as a child, a relationship that sparked her interest in writing about Indigenous themes and characters. She is the author of Missing Nimâmâ (Clockwise Press), which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, Stolen Words (Second Story Press), which won the 2018 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award and the bestselling He Who Dreams in the Orca Limelights line, a story that shares the same setting and characters as Dreaming in Color. She lives in Toronto.

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