Kliatt: "With lots of sports action and only 117 pages, the book has appeal for reluctant readers."
Review & React: "This book is about hockey, but it is about more than that, too. It also shows how parents can impact their kids' life and how to deal with change ... This book reminds me of Miracle."
Thank you for reading my young adult novel Face-Off, a re-release of the 1992 hockey classic. Face-Off was originally published under my maiden name, Stacy Drumtra, when I was 18 years old. I wrote the manuscript when I was 16, scribbling away in my high school study halls. I remember showing the pages to one of my best friends, Joanne. She got engrossed in the story and asked me for new pages every day, inspiring me to write more. We both sensed that I was onto something with this tale of the feuding McKendrick twins and their mutual love of hockey.
I received a publishing contract for Face-Off during my freshman year in college and the book was on its way to becoming a hockey classic. It received positive reviews from all of the top review publications, showed up on many reading lists, and generated lots of fan mail from the kids whose lives it had touched. The original edition went out-of-print, but I wanted to bring it back for a new generation of readers.
Obviously, a lot has changed since the early 1990s - texting, cell phones, teen driving laws, and social networking, to name a few. I decided not to incorporate these changes into Face-Off as it would have meant tearing apart and rewriting a story that has entertained so many readers. I did, however, edit out minor references that might confuse today's kids, such as the names of retired hockey players, music groups from the 1990s, and television shows.
Overall, the heart of Brad and T.J.'s story is a timeless one of siblings struggling to overcome their differences and find common ground. If you'd like to imagine the McKendricks and their friends in the 1990s, then consider this a historical book. If you'd prefer to picture Brad and T.J. texting and surfing the Internet in their free time, then I don't think imagining the story set in the present would be too much of a stretch, if you're willing to overlook a few things. For example, would T.J. and Brad get away with forging their signatures on their kid brother's school disciplinary notes nowadays? Probably not. But I think you'll agree that removing this subplot would have drastically changed the original story.