Today is my husband’s annual draft for his hockey pool and for me, as it is for many women, it is also the signal that I am about to become a hockey widow once again!
The NHL season is starting soon and although I love hockey and get right into it, I could never compete with my husband’s ardour. Nor do I need to because thankfully he’s got his friends. You see the whole point of the hockey pool draft (besides the beer, male bonding, scratching inappropriately, swearing, and roasted meat on a stick) is the forum in which to engage in endless feats of manliness and countless competitions. Who will get the best players, makes the most strategic picks, engineers the most fruitful trades; heck, even who gets to go first!
Why, you ask?
I don’t know. Apparently that’s what males do. They find things to compete with each other about and then gleefully plan events around this sole purpose.
And no, I am not being stereotypical because I’ve found this to be a constant across all different types of males. No matter what they are into, they will try and turn it into a competition.
Your man likes golf? Well, all of a sudden a friendly 18 holes becomes a buck-a-ball! Not your man, you say, he’s a book nerd! Well, what about when he sits at parties and drops lines from great books or randomly inserts quotes from Nietzsche! Or how about the music buff who incessantly plays “name this tune” and pauses each song after a few notes? Don’t forget the philosopher who turns every banal question, like “Some weather we are having” into a verbal joust! Or even the sensitive romantic type, watch how many roses and sonnets you get, especially if he has some -you guessed it-competition!
And don’t get me started on gaming, that whole industry was created just so males could compete as often as they wanted and don’t ‘even require an actual live human in which to do it!
It’s something I don’t get, don’t understand, and usually accompanies much eye-rolling on my part. Despite my lack of understanding, it can be very amusing to watch.
So I was suitably amused by Timberwolf Rivals by Sigmund Brouwer and illustrated by Graham Ross (ISBN: 9781554691074, Orca Echoes, 2009) and I thought, what a great book for those boys who live to compete which means ALL OF THEM!
(Cover Image Copyright@2009 Graham Ross)
In this early chapter read, Johnny, Stu and Tom are all buddies and all play hockey on the Timberwolves team, that is until the charity Valentine’s Dance draws near and each one wants to win part of the prize: a graphite hockey stick, ten free dinners or just bragging rights. When Connie, a new girl with a reputation as a great dancer, shows up, the boys pull out all the stops to usurp one another and impress Connie. Of course things don’t go quite as planned!
There is just something about Connie or competing that makes these boys go to some hilarious lengths to snag her attention!
I love that Brouwer writes for the reluctant reader and this book would appeal to even the most reticent. He recalls well the childhood struggles he had in English and writes and visits schools tirelessly to encourage those who aren’t fond of books! He has written a score of kids’ books for this purpose alone, including six other Timberwolves series books, adult fiction and non-fiction works.
He often talks about how he was rejected by publishers and it took ten years before he saw a book in print. It was also timely as he used the proceeds from that book, Morning Star, to buy 27 acres of land just east of Red Deer, Alberta (where he was born and raised) and where he and his wife his wife singer/songwriter Cindy Morgan are planning a sustainable community at “The Ridge” for development. Check out their idea on their website about their plans. The couple and their two daughters divide their time between Alberta and Tennessee (where Morgan originates).
(Brouwer and his beautiful girls Copyright@2010 Living at the Ridge)
Check out Brouwer’s website Cool Reading for more information about the man, his work and his mission!
Happy Saturday and hope to see you all at Word on the Street tomorrow!
Ps. I hope Brouwer doesn’t mind I “borrowed” this image from his site but it was just too cute to pass up!