Game Face

Game Face

Written by: Green, Shari
ages 9 and up / grades 4 and up

Thirteen-year-old Jonah is determined to prove that anxiety won’t stop him from succeeding as his hockey team’s goalie in this dynamic novel in verse. 

What-ifs rattle around his brain at the worst times, like when he’s in the middle of a playoff game. What if he lets his teammates down? What if he can’t make it pro? And the biggest what-if of all, the one he keeps to himself — what if he’s like his dad, whose life is controlled by anxiety that has only gotten worse since Jonah’s mom died in a car crash?

To prove that he’s not like that, Jonah is determined to succeed in the high-stress role of goalie. He and his best friend Ty have big plans for their hockey futures. But when Ty suffers a medical crisis during a pivotal game, Jonah’s anxiety ramps up to new levels

It takes courage to ask for help, but Jonah starts to realize that his team goes beyond the people who lace up their skates with him every week, and maybe it’s okay to look for support on and off the ice. 

From the adrenaline rush of sudden-death overtime to the weight of worrying about letting your teammates — and yourself — down, this novel in verse will hook readers from the first line.

 

Key Text Features

dialogue

poems

 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.5

Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Thirteen-year-old Jonah is determined to prove that anxiety won’t stop him from succeeding as his hockey team’s goalie in this dynamic novel in verse. 

What-ifs rattle around his brain at the worst times, like when he’s in the middle of a playoff game. What if he lets his teammates down? What if he can’t make it pro? And the biggest what-if of all, the one he keeps to himself — what if he’s like his dad, whose life is controlled by anxiety that has only gotten worse since Jonah’s mom died in a car crash?

To prove that he’s not like that, Jonah is determined to succeed in the high-stress role of goalie. He and his best friend Ty have big plans for their hockey futures. But when Ty suffers a medical crisis during a pivotal game, Jonah’s anxiety ramps up to new levels

It takes courage to ask for help, but Jonah starts to realize that his team goes beyond the people who lace up their skates with him every week, and maybe it’s okay to look for support on and off the ice. 

From the adrenaline rush of sudden-death overtime to the weight of worrying about letting your teammates — and yourself — down, this novel in verse will hook readers from the first line.

 

Key Text Features

dialogue

poems

 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.5

Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 5, 2023
Specifications 376 pages | 5 in x 7.5 in
Supporting Resources
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Excerpt
Written By

SHARI GREEN’s middle-grade verse novels include Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, an IYL White Ravens selection; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, a Schneider Family Book Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection, IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities selection, and USBBY Outstanding International Books selection; and Missing Mike, an NCTE Notable Verse Novels selection and USBBY Outstanding International Books selection. Shari lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Written By

SHARI GREEN’s middle-grade verse novels include Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, an IYL White Ravens selection; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, a Schneider Family Book Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection, IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities selection, and USBBY Outstanding International Books selection; and Missing Mike, an NCTE Notable Verse Novels selection and USBBY Outstanding International Books selection. Shari lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Audience ages 9 and up / grades 4 and up
Key Text Features

dialogue; poems

Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.5

An unvarnished problem-focused novel with occasional doses of quick ice hockey action.

” —Kirkus

Shines a light on the true-to-life challenges faced by those with anxiety ... An insightful, heartfelt story.

” —Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

A welcome addition to any middle-grade collection.

” —Canadian Children's Book News

Bold and fascinating … Game Face is a compelling hockey story that offers insight into anxiety, while simultaneously hooking teens on free verse – a hat trick if ever there was one.

” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Written in free verse that is both varied and effective, Game Face is an easy-to-read story that will resonate with any young person who has faced a personal challenge and overcome it with courage and determination.

” —Winnipeg Free Press

Jonah’s story will have readers relating, caring and turning the pages, hoping for his success.

” —Calgary Herald

Game Face, by Shari Green, is a beautifully written, well-researched novel in verse that will make you laugh and cry. Jonah, the main character, stole my heart and then some. Everything about the novel is honest and real — from the hockey action, friendships, family dynamics and anxiety that Jonah and his father face. Game Face is word perfect!

” —Lorna Schultz Nicholson