Back in 2007 I raved about a children's book written and beautifully illustrated by Chris Mizzoni. Mizzoni combined brilliant artwork and layouts with hockey's own Casey At The Bat storyline based loosely on King Clancy. The result, Clancy With The Puck became one of my favorite children's books ever.
Mizzoni is back with an equally brilliant book called The Sterling Seven. It tells the fictional story of hockey's first team, based loosely on the Ottawa Silver Seven. The boys from Sterling are too good for everyone else, and travel all over in search of competition. They even travel by rail, steamship and dog ship to the far north (a reversal of the actual Dawson City Klondikers story), but to no avail. They can not find a worthy opponent.
That's when the Sterling Seven head overseas and spread the game of hockey beyond their homeland. At first the teams over there are not very good either, but eventually they play enough to give boys from Sterling a challenging game. They get to be so good that they can even beat the best team in the world, and the Sterling Seven could not be happier.
Mizzoni's first book had the powerful Raincoast publishing machine behind it. Raincoast has gotten out of the publishing business, focusing on core tasks such as distribution. Mizzoni opted to go the self-publishing route this time around, meaning the book will not immediately be widely available on store shelves. The book can be found in several independent booksellers, but for most of us the only way to get it is through the author's website - Sterling Seven.ca - or via the Author House website.
If you enjoyed Clancy, you will enjoy The Sterling Seven.