Scrubs on Skates


233 pages
ISBN 0-7710-9088-9





Reviewed by Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers was a librarian with the Laurenval School Board (Adult Services), Deux Montagnes, Quebec.


This novel was originally published in 1952. Young, a well-known journalist and author, has revised certain details in this new paperback edition, but the story has not been changed substantially.

The plot concerns Pete Gordon, the star of his old high school championship hockey team. Pete is transferred to a new school with a new team on which he is the only experienced player. At first he is downcast, but he works hard with the rest of the boys to build the team into a contender for the championship. The story is also about Bill Spunska, a Polish immigrant who has never skated before but who has a great desire to play hockey.

In this new version, NHL players and team names have been updated, Spunska’s father is not a World War II D.P. but a supporter of Solidarity and Lech Walesa, and Pete’s sister Sarah’s great ambition is no longer to be “belle” of the high school but to follow a theatre arts curriculum. These details should make today’s reader more comfortable with what was, and is, an excellent hockey story, stressing team effort, the desire to play well, and sportsmanlike conduct.


Young, Scott, “Scrubs on Skates,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,