by David Starr
Lorimer Press, 2018
$12.95, 125 pp, ages 10 – 13
David Starr’s Empty Net helps children realize that lives can be altered by a job change, a move, and a tragedy. But these life changes aren’t the end of the story—examples of resilience and perseverance show readers that there are many different ways to overcome life-altering changes and to find happiness. By interweaving a familiar Canadian pastime with Maddie’s story of moving from a big city to a small town, Starr helps his readers connect to his main character through her passion for hockey. Maddie’s initial reaction to the changes in her life is to dig in her heels and try to hold on to what she’s used to, but with the help of her family, her new friends, her hockey team, and her whole community, Maddie is able to find happiness in her “new normal.”
Classroom Connections: Starr creates a world that is easy to enter, and keeps the reader engaged through strong descriptions to support visualizing, clues, and cliffhangers to encourage making predictions and asking questions. Great for sports enthusiasts, struggling readers, or as a read aloud. Reading Comprehension Strategies: Making Predictions, Asking Questions, Visualizing.
Review by Amanda Forbes.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Fall 2019 issue.