From the Stacks: Young adult novel flips the script

Submitted
"Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy" by Faith Erin Hicks.
Submitted "Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy" by Faith Erin Hicks.

"Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy," written by Faith Erin Hicks, features a highly active teen hockey player and a thespian with a passion for the stage.

However, Alix, the Vancouver Island hockey team's star player, is the daughter of a sculptor mother and an estranged hockey player father and Ezra is the son of a resale shop owner mom and an abusive dad who is no longer in the picture. How they act and the things they share bring them together in a way they never imagined.

The story begins with Alix blowing up and hitting her team captain, Lindsay, in the nose. Her coach tells her she must get her temper under control or she won't be recommended for the Canadian National Women's Under Eighteen Development camp during the summer.

Alix realizes that no one believes the verbal abuse Lindsay has been heaping on her is truly bullying, because it has been going on since she was a young girl and she hasn't complained. She is one of those girls who never appears feminine and hasn't had a boyfriend. She is all about hockey and this makes her an easy target. After seeing Ezra use words to turn a bully into a fool, she asks him for help.

Ezra is one of those guys who is always told to man up or not show his feminine side. He works at the store for his mother, but his passion is being on stage. He has performed in every play his school has produced since elementary school. Sometimes he's the star, sometimes a player, but always on the stage. However, his mother is in a new relationship with a guy she really loves, and Ezra is having problems getting past his memories of his dad.

Ezra agrees to try to show Alix how to turn the bullying back on the bully. They do activities together and talk. Talking is what helps the most. They discover they have much in common -- no father present, mother's who want something from them that is too hard to give, a history of being bullied for being different and a dream no one else seems to understand.

Alix and Ezra start to become more than friends, which was not in either one's plans. In the end, dreams seem closer and attitude adjustment allows for the development of friendships and family.

I was drawn to this book because of the twist on expectations and the very true treatment of someone who doesn't fit the normal mode. The story shines a beacon on bullying and being yourself. Teens need to realize bullying is still present even as they grow into adults. Hopefully "Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy" can lead some others to belief in themselves.

Donna Loehner is the youth services programming associate at Missouri River Regional Library.

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