Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Hockey

On the Line

by (author) Kari-Lynn Winters

illustrated by Scot Ritchie

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Hockey, Values & Virtues, Multigenerational, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Recommended Age
5 to 8
Recommended Grade
k to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


In a read-aloud perfect for conversations about team stewardship and growth mindset, a boy overshadowed by a family of skilled hockey players finds an innovative way to shine.

In Jackson Moore's small town, his family is known for producing hockey heroes—but he worries that he’ll never measure up to their amazing skills. On the ice he feels like a potato on skates, and his teammates begin to wonder if he really is a Moore. Then, when a shortage of equipment puts his team at risk of losing their spot in the Winterfest Tournament, Jackson makes a game plan of his own and realizes that his problem-solving and stewardship abilities are hallmarks of a true MVP.

Just like Jackson, award-winning author Kari-Lynn Winters grew up playing in the shadow of a big hockey family. In On the Line she demonstrates with heart and humor how scoring goals is not the only path to team heroism. An author's note furthers the conversation about sportsmanship, teamwork, and building supportive communities. Lively art by award-winning illustrator Scot Ritchie perfectly captures the action on and off the ice as Jackson learns to celebrate the skills he has—and to enjoy the game in spite of the ones he doesn’t.

About the authors

Kari-Lynn Winters is the author of Jeffrey and Sloth (2007), a picture book about the daunting task of overcoming writer's block, and The Meaning Maker, a children's play about reading strategies which is currently being toured throughout the Lower Mainland. A graduate of Canada's National Theatre School, she is currently performing with a Vancouver children's theatre group, The Tickle Trunk Players.

Kari has taught a range of students in Canada and the United States, including pre-school, special education, primary, intermediate, high school, and now university teacher education.

She is currently completing her Ph.D. in the Language and Literacy Department at UBC. Her research interests are children's literature, print literacy, and multimodal forms of learning.

Kari's website is

Kari-Lynn Winters' profile page


Scot Ritchie est un auteur-illustrateur primé vivant à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique. Il a illustré, et parfois écrit, plus de 40 livres pour enfants, dont Suivons la carte, Dis-moi pourquoi et There was an Old Lady that Swallowed a Puck.


Scot Ritchie is an award winning illustrator who lives in Vancouver British Columbia. He has illustrated over 40 children's books, (some of which he also wrote) including Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here, Up, Up and Away and the Basics for Beginners series, Hockey, Baseball and Soccer.



Scot Ritchie's profile page


  • Short-listed, Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Winner, Northern Lights Book Awards Winner – Sports Category

Editorial Reviews

Praise for On the Line

2021 Junior Library Guild Selection

2021 Northern Lights Book Awards Winner – Sports Category

2022 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection

“...illustrations portray a diverse cast of characters, from the team to the audience in the stands. [A]n encouraging story for young readers who struggle with shyness and anxiety. Believe in yourself, trust your talents, and find resilience in stories.”Kirkus Reviews

“A great read aloud for the introduction of being part of a team, reinforcing perseverance, believing in oneself, and valuing everyone’s talents.”Youth Services Book Review

“This is a great book for any young reader who struggles with confidence. The bright colors and friendly cartoon characters are inviting to the eye and keep readers’ attention. This book would be a great addition to a teacher’s winter book collection or to a home library for a hockey-loving family.”—Children’s Literature

“The illustrations which are in pencil and ink and finished digitally pop on stark white backgrounds.…On the Line shows that there is more to sport than athletics.”—CM Magazine

“The illustrations add important elements to the story, showing diversity in the community and on the team, and the level of ingenuity the kids and their parents had used to come up with workarounds on equipment.”—Canadian Bookworm

“This a great picture book to show kids that there are more important things than scoring goals – like trying hard, being a great team player and never giving up.”—Book Time

“I love that we are seeing stories about kindness and leadership off the ice as well as on the ice… a beautiful community throughout the story that readers will love.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“A good story not just for hockey fans but to discuss each person’s different strengths and skills.”—The International Educator

“[T]he details in the illustrations will delight young hockey fans…Being a good sport and being a good team member are great lessons for young readers to learn…”—YA Books Central

“Love that being the best at a sport isn't what makes you part of the team! Supporting your team and continuing to preserver and show up is what makes you a valuable member of any team.”Katie Akerman, Goodreads

“You know hockey books are sure to find fans. Add this to your 'sports' bucket!”—Sal's Fiction Addiction

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists