Called Up

by Steven Sandor

David is embarrassed when he doesn't make the A team. But befriending Omar, a Syrian refugee, makes David realize how lucky he is to be playing hockey at all.

For thirteen-year-old David Timko, making the Bantam A hockey team is everything. So when he doesn't make the cut and is forced to play house league, his bad attitude soon gets him benched. Even worse, his new friend at school, Omar, shows a complete lack of understanding of David's problem.

Omar, on the other hand, has problems of his own. A recent Syrian refugee, he's angry that his parents can't find good jobs in his new country or provide for him the way they used to. And he's desperately missing his older brother, who was left behind in Syria. As both boys become more frustrated with their own problems, their friendship begins to suffer. David wonders why Omar can't see how important hockey is to him, while Omar thinks David is acting spoiled. Can the two boys come to an understanding of each other's problems before their friendship comes to blows?

About the Author

STEVEN SANDOR is a journalist who writes on a variety of topics, including sports. He is the son of refugees who came to Canada in 1956. In writing this book, he was inspired by the people he interviewed for an award-nominated story on the Syrian refugee experience. In this story about opportunities large and small, his knowledge of kids and sports combines with a close look at the challenges to fitting in and succeeding faced by new Canadians and kids alike. Steven lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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