Checked by Cynthia Kadohata

Eleven year-old Conor MacRae lives and breathes ice hockey.  An extremely talented player, he hopes to play in the NHL and live up to the dreams both he and his dad have for him.  The financial demands of the elite team he plays for – travel, private lessons, and equipment – are a challenge for his single father.  When the boy’s dog, Sinbad, is diagnosed with cancer, Conor decides to give up the expensive lessons and ice time to save money and start a lawn-mowing business to help pay for treatment costing several thousand dollars.  As he takes a break from the rink, Conor becomes more aware of his father’s loneliness, the difficulties at home faced by a friend, and how much he has relied on hockey to define who he is.  A great choice for readers 11+ who appreciate a sports story with more than just the headlines.