Steve Crandall is a 13-year-old who loves hockey and is a talented player. One afternoon, Mark Slate, a boy about his age, approaches Steve and tells him that Kenneth Agard, Jr. is waiting for him in a car and wants to talk about Steve’s great hockey playing. Steve is cautious at first, remembering the potential danger of strangers, but Mark convinces him that Kenneth is just excited about his future in hockey. After taking him to a fancy dinner, Kenneth convinces Steve that his parents know he’ll be going with Kenneth to play on a professional junior hockey team. Steve finds himself a prisoner to young Kenneth Agard. Through perseverance and refusal to be a part of Kenneth’s team of kidnapped boys, Steve escapes and brings Agard to justice. Some of the language and description of family interaction is reminiscent of the 1960s, which creates a refreshing tone and presents a model for good family communication.
The Hockey Machine starts with full blown action. Steve Crandell, the main character, is running a play in a hockey game for his school. The author makes the readers feel as though they are watching the game as a fan for the team. Steve makes many amazing plays and is approached after the game by a liaison for a very wealthy person who wants him to play for his professional hockey team. But Steve has been kidnapped! Students who are sports fans will be thrilled by this fast pace novel and it is sure to be a hit with the boys. Recommend.
Douglas County School District