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Illustrated by: Maurizio Zorat
For Ages: 10 - 14
“Kadohata’s slapshot is the heart-swelling narrative of a father and son…Truly powerful.” —Jason Reynolds
“A deeply poignant story about a boy sorting out his priorities.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A vivid, memorable portrayal of a boy within his family, his sport, and his gradually broadening world.” —Booklist (starred review)


From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata comes a brilliantly-realized novel about a hockey player who must discover who he is without the sport that defines him.

Hockey is Conor’s life. His whole life. He’ll say it himself, he’s a hockey beast. It’s his dad’s whole life too—and Conor is sure that’s why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad’s chemotherapy.

But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad’s crying bouts, and his friend’s difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: Without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?
  • Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481446617 | 
  • February 2018 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9
List Price $16.99 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day

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The Thing About Luck
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About the Author

Cynthia Kadohata
Photo Credit:

Cynthia Kadohata

Cynthia Kadohata is the author of the Newbery Medal–winning book Kira-Kira, the National Book Award winner The Thing About Luck, the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner WeedflowerCracker!, Outside BeautyA Million Shades of GrayHalf a World Away, and several critically acclaimed adult novels, including The Floating World. She lives with her hockey-playing son and dog in West Covina, California.

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