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Children's Fiction Hockey

The Screech Owls' Reunion (#20)

by (author) Roy MacGregor

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Dec 2004
Hockey, Mysteries & Detective Stories, General
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2004
    List Price

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The Owls are all grown up, and now they’re returning home to play an exhibition game in the town’s new arena. But deep trouble has also come to Tamarack.
The Screech Owls are all grown up. Ten years have passed, and Travis, Sarah, Nish, and their friends have gone theirseparate ways, most of them scattered far and wide from their old home town. Travis is a teacher. Sarah is captain of the women’s Olympic hockey team. Data runs a computer business with Fahd. Wilson is a police officer. And Nish? Nish is in Las Vegas, a valued member of the aerial stunt team The Flying Elvises.

When the people of Tamarack decide to name their new sports complex The Sarah Cuthbertson Arena, it is the perfect time for all the old friends to reunite and play an opening night exhibition game. But as the Screech Owls start to return, trouble also comes to Tamarack. The unspoiled town faces disaster in the form of a new gambling casino, and it seems that the powerful developers will stop at nothing to get their way. Not even murder.

About the author

In the fall of 2006, Roy MacGregor, veteran newspaperman, magazine writer, and author of books, came to campus. Since 2002, MacGregor had been writing columns for the Globe and Mail, but he had a long and distinguished career in hand before he came to the national newspaper. He has won National Newspaper Awards and in 2005 was named an officer in the Order of Canada. He is the author of more than 40 books — 28 of them in the internationally successful Screech Owls mystery series for young readers — on subjects ranging from Canada, to the James Bay Cree, to hockey. That fall, he spoke to a packed room in the St. Thomas chapel. After the lecture, Herménégilde Chiasson, the Acadian poet, artist, and New Brunswick's Lieutenant Governor of the day, hosted a reception at the majestic Old Government House on the banks of the St. John River. MacGregor spent the evening surrounded by young journalists and the conversation continued late into the night. After all, there were more than three decades of stories to tell.

Roy MacGregor's profile page

Excerpt: The Screech Owls' Reunion (#20) (by (author) Roy MacGregor)

It had been a quiet, uneventful mid-june Sunday at the Lake Tamarack public beach - right up until Muck lost his diaper.

The water was still and bright as a mirror. There were nesting robins by the gravel parking lot, and a pair of loons was calling farther out on the lake. The only ripples had come from Muck's chunky legs as he waded out among the reeds, staring down at the freshwater clams and darting minnows in the surprisingly warm water of what had already been a pleasantly warm spring.

Distracted by the wonders in the water, Muck didn't realize how deep he was getting. The water rose over his knees, then crept up his diaper, the tabs straining until, finally, the soaking diaper simply popped off and began floating out into deeper water.

Muck paid it no heed. Giggling at his newfound, bare-bottomed freedom, he began splashing through the shallow waters, much to the amusement of an older couple who had decided to walk home from church by the path that looped down around the bay and back toward the river mouth at the edge of town.

Naked as the minnows, Muck began screeching with delight and splashing the water all around him until a small, quick rainbow formed almost within reach.

The man and woman applauded.

"Muck!"a younger woman's voice broke in. "Where is your diaper?"

Muck looked up, bright blue eyes blinking innocently.

He turned his hands palm out and shrugged helplessly, smiling.

"Gone," he said.

"Diaper gone."


Travis Lindsay had been running for nearly an hour, but it still felt good. He had already run down River Road, across the bridge, up to the Lookout, and back down to the new recreation path that would take him down along the river mouth to the beach. The delicious smells of pin cherry blossoms were in the air and his lungs were greedily reaching for even more.

It was a day to be grateful for life, a day to let your mind go, like the young dog running off in all directions around Travis.

Imoo was a golden retriever. He was one year old, and still far more puppy than fully grown dog - especially in his behaviour. He was also Travis Lindsay's new best friend in the world and constant companion, running with him by day and sleeping with him, usually across Travis's legs, by night.

Travis had named him after the toothless, scrappy, hockey-playing Buddhist monk Travis and his former best friend in the world, Wayne Nishikawa, had met and befriended in Nagano, Japan. With Nish in goal and Mr. Imoo's famous "force shield" helping protect the Owls' net, the Screech Owls of Tamarack had won the gold medal in hockey's first-ever "Junior Olympics."

Travis never forgot that experience - though that had been such a long, long time ago.

Ten years now.

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