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|Check, please! : book 1 : #hockey|
Author: Ukazu, Ngozi
The hilarious and heartbreaking confessions of a figure skater turned collegiate hockey player who's terrified of checking ... and is desperately in love with the captain of his hockey team. In graphic novel format.
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 74975
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2018 *Starred Review* Freshman year of college can be a rocky transition for anyone, but wide-eyed, irrepressible Eric Bittle is here to make the best of it. Bitty’s a vlogging, pie-baking, pop-music-loving, figure-skating boy from Georgia, who’s come to Samwell University in Massachusetts on a hockey scholarship. At first, it’s a whole new world that Bitty isn’t too sure about. He doesn’t connect with the team right away (“I guess it just takes time to click with people after they do unspeakable things to your pies”), the game is a lot more intense than he’s used to (they didn’t have checking back home, and Bitty does not respond well to being body slammed), and the team captain, Jack, may be gorgeous and from hockey royalty, but he’s really intense. Through his first two years at Samwell, Bitty vlogs about his ups and downs as he gains confidence in his team and himself. Ukazu, who began Bitty’s story as an uberpopular webcomic, folds in plenty of hockey terms and highlights team camaraderie while skillfully dismantling themes of toxic masculinity. The bright, energetic illustrations are as buoyant as their hero, and the hockey scenes—often close-up shots of elbows, skates, and pucks—are especially frenetic. A slow-burn, same-sex romance is just the icing on the cake (sorry—pie) in this irresistibly fun and utterly charming sports story. Volume two can’t come fast enough. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2018 Gr 10 Up—Originally created as a webcomic, this tale follows junior champion figure skater and small-town Georgia boy Eric "Bitty" Bittle as he begins freshman year on the Samwell University varsity hockey team. An avid video blogger, recipe fanatic, and pie baker extraordinaire, Bitty is bewildered by his new world of bros, kegsters, and aggressive "checking"—roughness that wasn't allowed in his coed hockey league back home. In addition, he is still unsure how to tell his tough guy team members that he's gay. However, despite some disheartening setbacks, eternal optimist Bitty is determined to overcome his checking anxiety, work his heart out, and win over the guys—and his handsome team captain—even if it means bribing everyone with homemade pecan pie. Although this appears to be a simple sports comic at first glance, it is far more complex. Through a combination of hilarious team banter, foodie humor, and a lovable main character, Ukazu has crafted a compelling story about acceptance, identity, and confidence. She expertly uses bold colors and exaggerated facial expressions, such as Bitty's large eyes, to convey emotion. VERDICT Although casual profanity, a few crass jokes, and some alcohol use make this a comic best suited for mature teens, this endearing volume is a must-have for YA graphic novel collections. Sure to resonate with hockey fans and sports newbies alike.—Lara Goldstein, Orange County Public Libraries, NC - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.