Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Gretzky’s Game

Leonetti, Mike (Author)
Banning, Greg (Illustrator)
Scholastic Canada 2011. 32 pages
First published: 2005
ISBN: 9781443107297 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This hybrid tale – fictional with elements of non-fiction – chronicles Wayne Gretzky’s rise to fame as he leads the Oilers to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory. It is told through the eyes of Ryan, a young boy whose love for hockey has him constantly practising on his backyard rink. Small for his age, he works extra hard to pass the tryouts for the town’s select team, the Oil Kings, turning to his hero for inspiration: “Dad, they used to tell Wayne Gretzky that he was too small, and that he would never make the NHL. Look at him now!” As it did for “The Great One”, all that hard work pays off. He earns a spot as the team’s “third or fourth centre,” and subsequently scores the tie goal in a critical game.

Realistic illustrations in vivid coloured detail capture the parallel stories of hard work and determination, while the insertion of NHL statistics into the text (game scores, hockey records, etc.) adds authenticity to the boy’s enthusiastic account of hockey’s Golden Age.

Of special appeal to hockey fans – and possibly, reluctant readers – the book provides a one-page biographical note at the end, with additional Gretzky facts and statistics.

  •  

    The main character believed in himself and succeeded. Write about a time when you or someone you know overcame an obstacle. Explain why it is important to work hard and persevere.

  •  

    Write about someone you respect or consider a hero. Explain your reasons. Send him or her a copy of your story.

  •  

    Name Canada's two national sports. Name some famous Canadian athletes.

  •  

    Talk about your favourite sport. Name some famous sports heroes. What qualities do they have that make them champions?

  •  

    Find five interesting facts about Gretzky’s hockey career. Why is he called The Great One? How does Ryan try to follow in his hero’s footsteps? Share with a partner.

  •  

    With a partner, role-play an interview between Ryan and his hero. Write five questions Ryan could ask Gretzky.

  •  

    Write a fan letter to an athlete who inspires you. Explain why you admire him or her.

  •  Name some famous athletes. What qualities do they have that make them champions?
  •  What tells you that even at a young age, Ryan already has the qualities of a champion?
  •  Create a timeline of Gretzky’s hockey season.
  •  Add pictures, captions and stories to Ryan’s scrapbook (p.19).
  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health