Queens of the Ice
by Carly Adams James
Lorimer & Company, 2011
$9.95, 131 pp. ages 12+
Queens of the Ice is a non-fiction narrative about the female hockey team, the Preston Rivulettes, during the Great Depression of the 1930s. With its combination of lyrical prose, game-like narrative and moderate pacing, this book reads like a game in motion that relates the story of a group of young women who created their own team and became a dominating force in women’s hockey in Canada through the Depression to the early years of the Second World War. The story of their victories and struggles to find travel and lodging money is augmented with biographies of the players and their personal triumphs on the ice as dominating athletes in their field. Their story is as fascinating as any modern day professional team in the NHL or on the world hockey stage. Interestingly, as their popularity grew and unbeatable record garnered national attention, their fan base dropped off late in their career because fans stayed away from games knowing that they would only witness yet another Rivulettes victory without a serious challenge from their competitors.
Classroom Connections: Junior and intermediate teachers will find Queens of the Ice a welcome addition to their classroom library as it addresses a host of issues from equality in sports, Canadian history, to women’s issues and the role of the Hockey Hall of Fame in recognizing the achievements of teams and individuals from outside the more popular NHL. This book is a great opportunity as a jump-off for discussion and exploration in the classroom or as part of individual research, but most of all Queens of the Ice is just a plain good read!
Review by Kent Miller.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2014 issue.