This week's OFF THE SHELF comes from our SCRLreads blog. Power Play by Eric Walters addresses an important topic.
Cody just wants to play hockey. He's not doing terribly well at school and is convinced that his only chance at success is to make it to the NHL. His home life isn't good. His dad is a bully and drinks too much. His mom is OK but she is completely controlled by his father. When a Junior A League scout helps him make the draft and becomes his coach, Cody thinks he's well on his way to the NHL. At first everything is wonderful, His new coach believes in him and tells him he is special. However, Cody soon learns that his hero will take as much as he gives. Before long, Cody's hero has turned into a villain and Cody is living a nightmare of secrets, lies and a terrible abuse of power.
Eric Walters has done an excellent job of showing how a young player can be manipulated and targeted by an abusive coach. This is a book that every parent should read and one that, hopefully, no child ever has to read. The book contains an Afterword by Sheldon Kennedy, who was sexually abused as a young hockey player by his coach.