Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine


Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine displays the importance of honesty and integrity.

In this sports-themed chapter book for tweens, Larry is disappointed that his recent injury has sidelined him from the big game. His coach asking him to be time keeper alongside a member of the opposing team is little consolation. When one of his teammates asks him to cheat, Larry needs to decide if honesty can beat out his bad attitude and habit of bending the rules.

As someone who writes message-driven fiction, I always enjoy a book where a reader has a take away they can ponder long after they finish. Such is the case with Hockey Agony. McDine created a character whose bad attitude and habit of bending the rules finally puts him at odds with doing the right thing. Peer pressure is huge at this age, so the author taps into that dilemma and helps tweens realize honesty and integrity are essential to making us successful in life.

Julie Hammond provided the artwork for Hockey Agony. She has a perfect style to complement this story. I also enjoyed the many background details that I felt relayed the message of the story in a subtle way.

While this award-winning book is sure to be popular with hockey players everywhere, Larry’s story is a great read for any tween looking for a bit of excitement and characters they can easily relate to.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (March 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161633360X
ISBN-13: 978-1616333607

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


It’s Not about Me by Michelle Sutton

Note: This is the first book I have reviewed here that is aimed toward an older teen audience. As such, the content of this book is of a more mature level than what has been previously discussed at this blog.

Annie has a charmed life: she’s beautiful, graduated from high school with honors, has been accepted at the college of her choice, is surrounded by family and friends who love and support her, and has a handsome steady boyfriend. 

But one night, her perfect life is shattered and everything changes so quickly she’s not sure which way to turn.  Caught between her boyfriend and his brother, both of whom claim to love her, Annie is torn as to who she should choose to be with while trying to heal from the event that altered her once easy life.

Will she choose Tony or Dan? And will she finally truly come to know the One whose love will never fail, even in her darkest hour?

What a powerful and moving debut from young adult author Michelle Sutton.  Dealing with such topics as false Christians, pornography, peer pressure, alcohol abuse, and pressure to engage in sexual activities, It’s Not about Me meets teen readers right where they are, tackling issues that they come up against on a regular basis.

This first book in Sutton’s  A Second Glances Series, gets readers thinking, “What would I do in this situation?”  This book’s strength definitely resides in its well-developed, strong, often complex characters whose personal battles and desire to do God’s will is as challenging as understanding the world around them.  And while admittedly faith plays a significant role in this book, I wouldn’t say that the reader would need to be a Christian in order to enjoy reading It’s Not about Me.  Most of the issues the characters are dealing with affect all teens, regardless of belief system.

The second book of this series, It’s Not about Him is also available.  I look forward to reading that one soon.

With It’s Not about Me, Sutton delivers an edgy and entertaining story that young adults will devour with zest.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Sheaf House Publishers 
  • ISBN-10: 0979748518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979748516
  • SRP:  $12.99

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