School Library Journal Review - Power Plays

School Library Journal
Reviewed by: Lori A. Guenthner

Jessie has started Grade Nine in a new school in Estevan, Canada. One of her classmates, Kim, dislikes her and sets her up as the target of another bully, Marsha. On Halloween, Marsha and two boys appear at Jessie's door when her parents aren't home, leaving a path of destruction and taking her along for a night of mischief that lands her in a cell. On the recommendation of the town constable, who is also the coach, Jessie begins playing girls' ice hockey. The sport gives her an outlet and a fresh start, but her progress is put into question when Kim joins the team. The plot moves quickly because of all the action on the ice. Each teammate has a unique personality, and even the meanest characters turn out to be likable. Readers will relate to Jessie: she chats with her friends on the computer, dates, and has struggles with her parents. Her friends and teachers come to her rescue when the bullying becomes too much. Unfortunately, her parents are the last to know about the situation. Some lessons are imparted along the way, mainly about teamwork, forgiveness, and bullying. There are some drinking scenes. An author's note includes resources about bullying. Reviewed by Lori A. Guenthner

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