Hockey is a relatively new sport in Canada's North. It wasn't until 2003 that Jordin Kudluk "Thunder" Tootoo became the first Inuk to play in an NHL game. Although hockey is a rough sport to begin with, Jordin Tootoo is known for having to "fight his way through." Jordin has had more than his fair share of fights both on and off the ice. He's had to overcome the social problems that are associated with the North, fight his way through the discrimination and culture shock he encountered after leaving Rankin Inlet and moving to Alberta to play in the Juniors, and see his way through the grief of losing his NHL-bound older brother and hero, Terence Tootoo, to suicide in 2002.
This new biography explores the struggles and accomplishments of the most recognized role model for young Aboriginal and Inuit people today. [Fry Reading Level - 4.6
About the author
Melanie Florence est auteure canadienne de descendance crie et écossaise. Son premier livre, Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL , a été choisi comme livre d'honneur par l'American Indian Library Association. Ses œuvres de fiction sont le roman pour ados One Night ainsi que l'album illustré Missing Nimama, gagnant du Prix TD de la littérature jeunesse. Melanie habite à Toronto.
MELANIE FLORENCE is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto, Ontario. She is the author of Missing Nimâmâ, which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the 2017 Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award and was a finalist for the 2017 First Nation Communities READ award. Her most recent picture book, Stolen Words, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and was a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Her other books include Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Residential Schools and the teen novels Just Lucky, He Who Dreams, The Missing, One Night, and Rez Runaway. Visit her at https://www.melanieflorence.com/.
- Commended, Honourable Mention - American Indian Youth Literature Award
Though the primary focus of this book is hockey...also covers a wide range of topics and issues that will likely lead to further discussion, including rights of Inuit people on their land, the federal government's description and recognition of indigenous peoples, racism and the higher incidence of Aboriginal youth suicide.
This biography follows Jordin's childhood in the Arctic, rooted in Inuit tradition and his parents' constant support...Photographs and factoid insets spread throughout the biography help the reader visualize Tootoo's childhood. Rich descriptive language brings the reader into the hockey game where "blades cut a path across the ice and breathing rasps."
Curriculum Connections: This text lends itself well as a resource for biography research and writing units, supports a character study for sports and Aboriginal heroes, and packs enough action to be a great "book for boys" in a classroom library.
Like her subject, the author doesn't pull many punches in Tootoo's rousing, rather hard-bitten tale, which, thankfully, has a storybook ending aimed directly at teenage-boy reluctant readers.
...Tootoo's story is as much a tale about two brothers as it is about the love of hockey...With text boxes and photographs that complement the story and contribute to the reader's experience, each page of this fast paced read details Tootoo's ambition and fighting spirit.
"Though the primary focus of this book is hockey, the book covers a wide range of topics and issues that a young reader can take away with them, such as the rights of Inuit people on their land, the federal governments description and recognition of Indigenous peoples, racism"
Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and the Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHLOn October 9, 2003, Jordin Tootoo played his first NHL game for the Nashville Predators. This was especially impressive because he was the first ever Inuit person to play in the NHL. The story of Jordin’s rise to fame is a captivating one. Life at home in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut was very different from the big cities where he eventually went to pursue his dream. This book chronicles the ups and downs of Tootoo’s personal life and career including his decision to go into rehab in 2010, as he fought to achieve his goal of playing hockey in the NHL. The author combines information about aboriginal life and the history of Canada’s north with hockey facts and Tootoo’s personal data in simple, straightforward text. Includes a glossary.
The suicide of his brother is included in the story.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2011-2012.
Other titles by Melanie Florence
Legends of Funland
Autumn Bird and the Runaway
Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools
The Devastating Impact on Canada's Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Findings and Calls for Action