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The Kodiaks

Home Ice Advantage

By David A. Robertson
Series: The Breakout Chronicles
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Hockey, Prejudice & Racism, New Experience
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Worldviews, Teachings, and Protocols, Contemporary Setting, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity, Social Emotional Learning, Citizenship Education, Courage, Friendship, Self-Esteem and Self-Reliance, Social Justice, Discrimination, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism, Prejudice and Racism, Residential Schools

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell U, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 770L
Paperback : 9781774921012, 200 pages, April 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781774921029, 200 pages, June 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9781774921036, 200 pages, June 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-06-18

Eleven-year-old Alex is a natural on the ice, but can he stand proud when he’s judged for who he is and where he comes from?


Hockey fans will love this action-packed middle grade novel about teamwork, overcoming adversity, and being proud of who you are and where you come from.

Everything is changing for 11-year-old Alex Robinson. After his father accepts a new job, Alex and his family move from their community to the city. For the first time in his life, he doesn’t fit in. His fellow students don’t understand Indigenous culture. Even a simple show of respect to his teacher gets him in trouble.

Things begin to look up after Alex tries out for a local hockey team. Playing for the Kodiaks, Alex proves himself as one of the best, but he becomes a target because he’s Indigenous. Can Alex trust his teammates and stand up to the jerks on other teams? Can he find a way to fit in and still be who he’s meant to be?


A fun read filled with a ton of action…and the sort of real-life conflicts that make you think. David expertly weaves entertainment and humour with life lessons—and suggestions for making the world a better place.

Kevin Sylvester,  Author/Illustrator of The Hockey Super-Six

Alex challenges the adversity that many Indigenous youth endure playing hockey. His determination to build relationships and show that we are all the same, even though we come from different cultures, is an inspiration. This is a great story!

Jon Mirasty, former NHL hockey player, actor in Shoresy

David A. Robertson's latest novel, The Kodiaks: Home Ice Advantage, addresses racism in minor hockey through the story of an indigenous hockey player named Alex. The book emphasizes education, community support, and redefining masculinity to combat discrimination and promote inclusivity in sports. Through Alex's journey, readers see the value of empathy, kindness, and understanding as essential qualities for athletes.

BNN Breaking

The Kodiaks: Home Ice Advantage is a thrilling novel for all ages. It addresses the important issue of discrimination, which affects even our youngest players, and shows how teamwork on and off the ice can work to fight it.

David Ciss, producer of @FAN590, The Jeff Marek Show

I liked the fast pace of the novel and the messages about teamwork, bullying, prejudice, racism, and overcoming challenges and adversity. I think many young and teenage readers would enjoy this book, the messages, and the subject matter of hockey!

Anishinabek News

Among CBC Books's 32 Canadian Books for Children to Check Out in Spring 2024

CBC Books

Lots of depth here as Alex navigates a new town/school, a new hockey team, and prejudice, racism, and microaggressions on and off the ice. Sports books always fly off the shelves, so this is a really nice addition to the field.

School Library Journal's Teen Librarian Toolbox

If you are reading the just-released middle grade novel The Kodiaks: Home Ice Advantage and are impressed by how real it all feels, there’s a reason for that—a lot of it is.

Greg Oliver for SIHR’s Two Minutes for Reading so Good, Society for International Hockey Research

Timely and important, The Kodiaks: Home Ice Advantage is a must-read. Highly Recommended

CM Association