Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey

UPDATE: Thanks for participating. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Justin M., our grand prize winner.

I have never played hockey myself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. You see, I had two brothers, one older and one younger, and both played pee wee hockey. As a child I used to have to get up at some ungodly hour on Saturdays, sleep-eat my bowl of Cheerios and head to the hockey arena with my dad and brothers. I’m sure I probably didn’t really know what was going on, except for the fact that I knew once we got to the rink I would get hot chocolate. I would sip my steaming hot chocolate and cheer on my brothers. Whenever my dad hooted or hollered, I did. Looking back now, I cherish this one on one time I got with my dad. Hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s an activity that is associated with memories, feelings and a sense of community and it really does bring people together in many ways.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey is full of fun, heartwarming and inspiring stories for hockey fans and families. Family-oriented stories from everyday hockey players and fans, as well as revealing personal stories from NHLers and hockey insiders, will captivate readers.

Do you have an inspirational, amusing, or encouraging hockey-related story to share? It could be a story about: your first pair of skates, the street where you played ball hockey, tickets to a memorable game, or any thing that makes you think of our favourite national sport. We want to read it!

In 100 words or less, tell us your hockey story to win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey and a $100 gift certificate to Sports Chek to go towards your next pair of skates.

Email your story to audrey@simonandschuster.ca (with the subject line: Hooked on Hockey) or leave it as a comment here and we will draw a winning story on November 1. We’ll also select 5 runners-up who will receive a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey. 

Contest is open to Canada only (excluding Quebec). By submitting a story you have agreed to our Official Rules, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Memoir Monday: The Bill from My Father

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

This past weekend a majority of families celebrated Father’s Day. For all of us who have ever reflected on our father/son or father/daughter dynamic, this is the memoir for you.

As The Bill from My Father begins, Bernard Cooper and his father are the last remaining members of the family that once included his mother, Lillian, and three older brothers. Now with the elder Cooper slowly succumbing to dementia, Bernard is determined to capture a coherent picture of the Cooper family history and rebuild his relationship with his father. At his quirky best, Edward Cooper is a humourous cliché of an old man who fiddles with his hearing aid yelling “What? I can’t hear you.” Only to chide you afterward that there’s no need to shout. Like the title of the memoir suggests, Bernard recalls a bill his father once sent him for the total cost of his upbringing and itemized invoice adding up to 2 million dollars. But at his worst, Cooper Sr. is distant, petty and mean. Edward is intensely secretive and Bernard only learns about certain aspects of his father’s life through chance documents – such as some peculiar documents involving lawsuits against other family members.

With his razor-sharp wit and unsparing honesty, Bernard Cooper peels back layers of the familiar, exposing the surprising truths that shape our lives. The Bill from My Father is a penetrating meditation on both monetary and emotional indebtedness, and on the mysterious nature of memory and love. Read an excerpt from his memoir.

Memoir Mondays: The Glass Castle

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

A book that has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 261 weeks, The Glass Castle is an autobiographical memoir that details Jeannette Walls and her siblings’ unconventional and poverty-stricken past living with dysfunctional parents. Her father was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, shared stories and taught them about physics and geology. At other times, he stole grocery money and disappeared for days. Her mother, an artist, struggled to raise her family in an environment of chaos. With absent parents—literally and figuratively—Jeannette and her siblings were forced to raise each other. As they got older, she and her siblings went on to educate themselves and found success, while her parents chose to become homeless.

Astonishing but tender, The Glass Castle is a memoir about the enduring love of a family despite chaos. It quickly became a bestseller and book club favourite. Click here for the reading group guide. You can also read an excerpt from the memoir.

Find out more from Jeannette Walls about what inspired her to tell her deeply moving story:

Memoir Mondays: Moonlight on Linoleum

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

Moonlight on Linoleum is a beautifully written, touching memoir where Terry Helwig crafts a moving tale about growing up with a mother who neglected her children and responsibilities. As a child, she grew up roving around the American West because of her stepfather’s job, denying any stability in her life. Her mother Carola was involved meeting other men, often leaving her alone with her siblings. Because of that, Terry was forced to become a mother-figure to six girls (one of them was actually her cousin) and sometimes, even to her own mother. Carola began to feel overwhelmed by stress, guilt and nightmares that deteriorated her mental health to the point that Terry needed to take her to a mental hospital. When Carola left the hospital, she spiraled into drug addiction and found herself seeing even more men. In 1974, she died of an accidental overdose.

Sensitive yet honest, Moonlight on Linoleum is a portrait of the powerful love a child has for her mother and the enduring fortitude Terry upholds to keep her family together. Read an excerpt from the memoir.

Memoir Mondays: Immortal Bird

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

Immortal Bird is the story a gifted child named Damon Weber. He was born with a malformed heart and underwent several surgeries when he was young, but his condition never got in the way of his spirit and talent. He was a charmer with the girls in his middle school class, he excelled academically, and, on his days off, he enjoyed karate, kayaking, soccer and skiing. A creative writer and budding actor, he made an appearance on HBO’s Deadwood.

However, as Damon got older, he developed another heart illness. Doctors had no answers. While Damon continued to chase after his passions and talents, his father, Doron, searched for a solution in the flawed health care system. Immortal Bird is about a father’s struggle to save his son’s life in a race against time. Have a look inside the heart-wrenching memoir.