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Jordin Tootoo

The highs and lows in the journey of the first Inuit player in the NHL

by Melanie Florence

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list price: $12.95
also available: eBook Hardcover Paperback
published: 2020
imprint: Lorimer
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 18
Reading age:
9 to 10
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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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  • Commended, American Indian Youth Literature Award
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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, updated biography explores the struggles and accomplishments of the most recognized role model for young Aboriginal and Inuit people today.


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Contributor notes

MELANIE FLORENCE is a proud Cree and a full-time journalist and award-winning children's writer. She is the author of the teen novels The Missing, Rez Rebel, One Night and Rez Runaway. She lives in Toronto.


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About the Author

Melanie Florence

MELANIE FLORENCE is a Canadian author of Cree and Scottish heritage. Her first book,Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL was chosen as an Honor Book by the American Indian Library Association. Melanie’s fiction writing includes the teen novel One Night and the picture book Missing Nimâmâ, winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. She is also the author of Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Residential Schools. Melanie lives in Toronto.

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