Shutout: Orca Sports

Series: Orca Sports
Publication Date: 29 Jan. 2019
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781459818767

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    Alex Paterson is the number-one goalie on his high-school hockey team. And he's thrilled that his team has made the playoffs. But when graffiti that apparently can be traced back to Alex is found on the walls of the school, and a photo of Alex at a party with a beer in his hand starts making the rounds, he is suspended from the team, and his reputation as a good kid is put in doubt.

    Alex knows he's innocent. The problem is, he cannot figure out who would want to frame him. Or why. Is it the other goalie who wants all the glory for himself? Or someone from a rival team looking for an advantage?

    With everyone assuming the worst about him, it's up to Alex to find out who is behind it all, not only to clear his name, but to save the season.

    Information

    Book Type: Junior Chapter
    Age Group: 11 to 14 years
    Traffic Lights:
    Class Novel: No
    Good Reads Rating: 4/5
    Literary Rating: 4/5

    Review

    Alex Paterson loves sports. Hockey, lacrosse, soccer -- you name it. His hockey team even has a chance to get to this year's championships and Alex is a shoo-in to be the goalie. But Alex also has an artistic side -- and though his artsy girlfriend Chloe knows it, her friends treat him like a meathead. Her best friend Ella and her parents advise her to break up with him.

    When Alex's art stencils show up in spray paint on the walls of the school, all fingers are pointed at him. And what's worse is that there's no defence Alex can make against the accusations. Everyone thinks it was him, including the principal, and his coach benches him for a game. Soon after, a picture of Alex holding a beer at a party starts circulating and things get even trickier. Chloe breaks up with him, and his position on the team is hanging in the balance.

    When Chloe's artwork is graffitied with his stencils, Alex knows he has to find out who's behind the vandalism and stop them. With the help of his friend Luke, they discover that the person behind the graffiti is Ella -- she was trying to ruin Alex's reputation, and it nearly worked. With his name cleared, Alex gets back together with Chloe.

    An interesting take on the idea of not judging a book by its cover. Nobody gives Alex the benefit of the doubt, even though he's done nothing wrong. Because they've put him in a box, he's guilty until proven innocent. Luckily, his fortitude and the loyalty of his friends gets him through.

    Themes

    friendship, trust, betrayal, hockey, teamwork

    Content Notes

    Alex goes to a party where other people are drinking -- it's unclear if they are underage. He is handed a beer, but doesn't drink it (p. 54-56). 2. Chloe "gives [Alex] a kiss" (p. 58).

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