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Orca SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)--FRIENDSHIP through December 2020

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Orca Echoes
Hockey Night in Kenya
By (author): Danson Mutinda By (author): Eric Walters Illustrated by: Claudia Dávila
9781459823617 Paperback, Trade English Juvenile: Age (years) from 6 - 8, Grade (CAN) from 1 - 3, Grade (US) from 1 - 3, Reading age from 6 - 8 JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / Hockey Kenya Apr 13, 2021 Print Run: 6000
$7.95 CAD
Forthcoming 5.25 x 7.63 x 0.25 in | 200 gr 104 pages B&W illustrations Orca Book Publishers
Is skating on ice in Kenya too big of a dream?

Kenyan orphans, Kitoo and Nigosi, spend their days studying, playing soccer, helping their elders with chores around the orphanage and reading from the limited selection of books in their library. When the librarian finds a box of damaged books that she can’t shelve, she offers them to Kitoo who becomes fascinated by one called Sports Around the World. Kitoo is particularly interested in an image of the Canadian Ice Hockey team. When the fates align and Kitoo finds a pair of beat up old roller blades, he teaches himself to skate and dreams of one day playing hockey like the men in his book. But you can’t play ice hockey in Kenya, can you?

Key Selling Points
  • Kitoo dreams of someday playing real ice hockey and Nigosi helps him realize that sometimes dreams can come true. Hockey Night in Kenya is ultimately a story about friendship, support and having big dreams.
  • This book addresses abandonment, parental death and being an orphan, but the real focus is about finding happiness in the life you have and also about having dreams of greater things.
  • Co-author Danson Mutinda’s parents founded an orphanage, the Hope Development Centre, with Eric and Anita Walters in 2007. Danson is currently patron of the program and Eric is considered an elder and an important member of the Hope Development Centre community.
  • While the characters and story are fictional, the orphanage and ice rink exist in real life. In 2018, coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons brought the 12 players of the Kenya Ice Lions, who practice at the Panari Hotel rink, to Canada to play hockey. Twice a week the Kenyan team gathers in Nairobi to practice, but there aren’t enough players to create a second team so their trip to Canada was the first time they had a proper opponent.
  • Features several black-and-white illustrations.

Danson Mutinda’s parents, Ruth and Henry Kyatha, co-founded the Hope Development Centre orphanage with Eric and Anita Walters in 2007. When Henry passed away, Dansen became patron of the program. He and his co-author, Eric Walters, worked together to write this story of two energetic and joyful children who are based on many of the children they work with at the centre. Danson lives in Kikima, Kenya, on the grounds of the orphanage.

Eric Walters began writing as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. A Member of the Order of Canada, he has now published more than 100 novels and picture books. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Claudia Dávila writes, illustrates and designs books for kids of all ages including Bus to the Badlands and Ghost of the Mill House in the Orca Echoes line. She is passionate about stories and themes that encourage children to be strong, thoughtful, compassionate and responsible people. Claudia lives in Toronto.

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