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by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

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prejudice & racism, winter sports
list price: $8.95
also available: eBook Paperback Hardcover
published: 2004
imprint: Lorimer
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


Set at an elite hockey camp for thirteen to fourteen-year-old boys, the protagonist is a boy with Type 1 diabetes who needs to decide for himself what is right in spite of what a dominant group believes. In his attempts to excel and cope with his diabetes we see the complexities involved even in the lives of the outwardly successful. Early in this young adult novel we are introduced to his roommate, an outstanding Aboriginal player from the far north. He becomes a target for boys envious of his skills and suffers from the growing prejudice of those who only see differences. The story considers the issues of bullying, racism, difficulties with high level competition and coping with chronic disease.

This is the sequel to Interference and the introduction of the character Peter Kuiksak, an up and coming hockey star who is the protagonist in two successive novels, Against the Boards and Northern Star. This was 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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Fast-paced sports action novels that get kids reading.

In this sequel to Interference, Josh is off to an elite hockey camp for the summer, where he shares a room with a talented player from the Northwest Territories named Peter Kuiksak. Peter is skilled enough to give Kevin, the star junior player, some serious competition, which creates trouble on and off the ice. In Roughing, differences and special challenges lead to some tough team dynamics that will take strength, understanding, and courage to overcome. [Fry Reading Level - 3.8

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Contributor notes

LORNA SCHULTZ NICHOLSON has written picture books, middle grade and YA fiction, and non-fiction. She has also written, produced, and hosted programs for television and radio, and is well known in Western Canada for her print journalism, including sports writing. Lorna regularly visits schools to share her passion for literacy with students. She lives in Edmonton with her husband and their two dogs.

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Editorial Reviews

"Readers of sports fiction, especially hockey fans, will love Roughing. The dialogue is brisk, and ... the book fills a niche for libraries looking for offerings that combine sports and an issue with which kids deal."

— School Library Journal

"Readers who enjoy hockey will appreciate the vocabulary, the environment and general feel of the game that Nicholson brings."

— Resource Links

"Lorna Shultz Nicholson has created a sympathetic character in Josh, with whom children dealing with illness in their personal lives may identify....The novel sends positive messages about living with an illness and standing up for what is right."

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"For those reading Ms. Nicholson for the first time may be surprised at how good she is. I highly recommend Roughing. A hockey book for all seasons. A first round pick!"

— President of Okanagan Hockey Schools
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About the Author

Lorna Schultz Nicholson

LORNA SCHULTZ NICHOLSON grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, and as a child loved to read, write and compete in all kinds of sports. She is the respected author of many middle grade and YA novels, the Puckster picture book series, and several nonfiction books about hockey, including the Amazing Hockey Stories series. Lorna lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her family. Not surprisingly, she is a HUGE Edmonton Oilers fan. Visit her online at www.lornaschultznicholson.com.

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