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Michigan vs. the Boys
Cover of Michigan vs. the Boys
Michigan vs. the Boys
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Hockey meets the #MeToo movement in this powerful debut novel.Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the...
Hockey meets the #MeToo movement in this powerful debut novel.Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the...
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  • Hockey meets the #MeToo movement in this powerful debut novel.

    Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the girls' hockey team off the ice this year.

    If she wants colleges to notice her, Michigan has to find a way to play. Luckily, there's still one team left in town ...

    The boys' team isn't exactly welcoming, but Michigan's prepared to prove herself. She plays some of the best hockey of her life, in fact, all while putting up with changing in the broom closet, constant trash talk and "harmless" pranks that always seem to target her.

    But once hazing crosses the line into assault, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up — even if it means putting her future on the line.

 

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About the Author-

  • Carrie S. Allen grew up in the Colorado mountains, at 10 000 feet elevation. She worked as a certified athletic trainer, first in a high school, and then in collegiate sports medicine. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, kids and dogs. When she's not acting as an unpaid chauffeur, she writes about athletes. Not female athletes, but athletes who happen to be female.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-When budget cuts end her hockey team right before her final season, Michigan Manning has little choice but to try out for the boys' team if she wants to keep playing. But making it onto the team is the least of her problems when it becomes obvious that neither the coach nor her teammates want her there. With Coach looking for any opportunity to cut her and her teammates' hazing becoming increasingly violent, Michigan is forced to decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to keep playing the game she loves. This timely sports story is an uncomfortable read but a necessary one, tackling tough issues like hazing and sexism in sports. Allen skillfully paints a bleak picture without coming across as message-y, and Michigan's own coaching duties allow her to reflect on the example that she's setting for future generations. While readers may chafe at Michigan's reluctance to step forward sooner and put a stop to it, as the violence toward her escalates, the result is a high stakes page turner where the tension is palpabale. VERDICT Frank discussion of sexual assault and harassment make this a better choice for older readers who enjoy sports and Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie but may not be ready for E.K. Johnston's Exit, Pursued by a Bear.-Mimi Powell, Library Systems and Services, Kissimmee, FL

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2019
    Michigan wants to play hockey, which leaves one last audacious option--the boys' team. Michigan Manning and her best friend, Brie, dream of victory as the new captains of their high school girls' ice hockey team. Instead, Principal Belmont shocks them by announcing that budgets cuts will render the girls' hockey team defunct. The close-knit hockey girls scatter--Brie to private school, the rest to other schools and other sports, but Michigan can't afford private school tuition or long commutes. Inspired by Jack, a handsome, popular swimmer, and a brave girl on her brother's AAA bantam team, Michigan shrugs off ridicule, taunts, and bullying to earn her way to a coveted center position on the boys' varsity team. It's an exhilarating run, as debut author Allen creates a wonderfully authentic hockey world. Determined, resilient Michigan fights for her right to play despite feeling abandoned by old friends and ostracized by her new team. However, readers may feel frustrated by the author's portrayal of Michigan's rationalizations and the alpha bad guy trope, which veers toward the cartoonish--after purposely injuring her, one bully "lowers his voice as if talking to a baby. 'Are you going to be OK to play this weekend? Coach needs his widdle Michigan out there.' " The supportive relationships between Michigan and her brother, boyfriend, and father are beautifully written, and the on-ice experience is similarly nuanced and breathtaking. Most characters are assumed white. Nevertheless, a gritty and heroic athlete persists. (Fiction. 13-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Michigan's entire life was hockey?when she was not conditioning and training, she was watching hockey movies and thinking about hockey. All of her hard work pays off when she is finally named Assistant Captain of her school team, but a few days later, the team is cut due to funding. Without rich parents to pay her tuition at a private school, she's seemingly out of options. So, she tries out for the boy's varsity team, which she easily makes, but her coaches and teammates aren't happy about it. Michigan endures months of physical and emotional abuse and hazing without reporting it, focusing on her craft instead. Allen's debut is a plot-driven novel that takes readers inside a misogynistic team and a school and town that allow that behavior to go unchecked. The book's power comes from highlighting the pain and abuse that barrier-breaking women endure in a male-driven field, but the characters are thinly drawn and the ending is too tidy for such a complicated story. Our admirable heroine deserves more than that.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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