Recently I heard Roch Carriere speak on CBC of his life altering book, “The Hockey Sweater”. It evokes a simpler time in rural Quebec where a boy worships Les Canadiens and their star, Rocket Richard. When an Eaton’s delivery boo boo sends a Maple Leaf sweater instead, Roch is ridiculed, humiliated. This story is so very Canadian.
That interview brought back to memory, my childhood in Creighton Heights, just north of Cobourg Ontario. The early 1960’s. It was full of ponds for hockey and hills for sledding in winter. We loved and lived for winter sports. It also brought back memories of childhood interactions: unsupervised fun, fast friends and yes, bullying.
“The Best Sled Ride, Ever” has its first draft completed. It is winter fun, fast friends and bullying. Those children who had less income (poor) were teased for their, shabby clothes, small houses, poor “sleds” and sometimes body odour.
But – this story has the poor kids winning at the sledding contest, overcoming the bullying by smarts and persistence and gaining respect. It is based on my own experiences. This is a heart warming story for young readers.