Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2004
A girl who's just trying to play the sport she loves ...
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Michigan Manning just wants to play hockey. Unfortunately, the high school she attends in the upper peninsula of Michigan has cut the women's hockey team at the start of Michigan's junior year, and she and her teammates are left to find other ways to play the sport that they love. Michigan's best friend, Brie, heads to a boarding school. Some of the other girls join a team in another city. A few switch sports. But Michigan loves hockey, and she is determined to keep playing. Her situation leaves her with one option: trying out for the men's hockey team at her high school.

In MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS, Michigan deals with a whole lot of backlash as she tries out for--and makes--the men's hockey team. She feels deserted by her former teammates on the women's team, her mom seems disapproving, and her new teammates on the men's team are definitely NOT happy to have her aboard--and neither is her new coach, he begrudgingly added her rather than deal with a negative reaction from his hockey-playing step-daughter.

MICHIGAN VS. THE BOOK is a book that made me want to punch someone as Michigan navigated the many difficulties her male teammates threw at her, and it made me want to whoop for joy every time her friends and family supported her, and each and every time Michigan achieved success on the ice. Michigan's interactions with her dad and her younger brother--especially her brother--were my favorite parts of the story, but there's plenty more in the pages of the book to enjoy.

MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS is a book I would have devoured in middle/high school. Heck, I devoured it as an adult! Author Carrie Allen writes the hockey scenes really well, and even readers who aren't hockey fans will be able to follow along with the action.

I highly recommend MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS. It was a quick read, and it gives the reader a lot to think about. It's also a great conversation starter. I've seen some reviews that say it's unrealistic that Michigan would face the pushback that she did in today's world--I have to disagree. We haven't moved along quite as far as they seem to think when it comes to equality in sports--though I appreciate their optimism!

My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Good Points
Great action scenes on the ice
It gives readers a lot to think about
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