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Long Shot
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Long Shot

How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold

By Eric Zweig

$9.95 Paperback
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Also available from our distributor Lerner Publisher Services
$16.95 Hardback
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$8.95 Ebook
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Series: Lorimer Recordbooks

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The sons of Icelandic immigrants and friends since boyhood, the Winnipeg Falcons were a superbly talented team of just eight players who brought home Canada's first Olympic gold medal in hockey in 1920. But before they became world champions, the Falcons endured years of prejudice on and off the ice.

Author and renowned hockey historian Eric Zweig brings to life the fascinating story of the little team that wouldn't quit.

[Fry Reading Level - 4.6


1. Hockey Night in 1896

2. Icelanders in Winnipeg

3. From the Backyard to the Big Time

4. Struggling to a Title

5. Your Country Needs You

6. Falcons Were Meant to Fly

7. Same Old Problems at Home

8. Another League of Their Own

9. The Battle of Manitoba

10. Bigger Battles Ahead

11. Overseas Again

12. The Olympic Games

13. Going for the Gold

14. Life After the Olympics

15. Falcons Forever



About the Author

Photo Credits


Commended - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2008

"...Zweig uses his extensive research to great effect in recreating the emotions of the era. He also works in interesting detials baout early hockey rules that will appeal to young fans."

- Megan Grittani-Livingston Quill & Quire

"...Zweig uses his extensive research to great effect in recreating the emotions of the era. He also works in interesting detials baout early hockey rules that will appeal to young fans."

- Megan Grittani-Livingston Quill & Quire

Eric Zweig brings his experience as a sports journalist and hockey historian to Long Shot, which is aptly described in the subtitle that appears on the cover, How the Winnipeg Falcons Won the First Olympic Hockey Gold. In 15 short chapters, the reader is taken for an exciting journey from hockey crazy Winnipeg in 1896 to the creation of the Winnipeg Falcons in 1909 and eventually to the 1920 Olympic Games when the team made up almost exclusively of Icelandic-Canadians from Manitoba became Olympic champions and the toast of the nation. Excerpts from contemporary newspaper reports provide a sense of immediacy to the Olympic action.

The Falcons' story wasn't always so glorious. Prejudice against the working class sons of Icelandic immigrants kept them from playing in the Winnipeg Hockey League, but fortunately a couple of other teams joined with the Falcons in other amateur hockey leagues. After their rise to international victory, members of the Falcons moved on to professional hockey with the National Hockey League and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. Frank Fredrickson had the greatest success in the professional leagues and was eventually elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The excerpt illustrates Zweig's ability to succinctly capture historical details about the evolving nature of hockey in Canada. A basic understanding of current hockey rules is all that is required to appreciate the differences explained. A two-page glossary includes terms, like blocked shot and combination play, that may be unfamiliar to some readers. Most chapters include one sidebar that contains interesting facts such as the origin of the Allan Cup, the amateur hockey trophy first presented in 1908. Also included are nine black and white photos of various Falcons teams or members and related images.


Val Ken Lem is a member of the Collection Services Team at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON, and liaison librarian for history, English and Caribbean studies.

Canadian Review of Materials - Voulme XIV, Number 3 - September 28,2007

- Val Ken Lem Canadian Review of Materials - Vol. XIV, No. 3

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 112 pages
Publication Date: 1st June 2007
ISBN: 9781550289749
Format: 7in x 4.25in
black and white illustrations

Binding: Hardback, 112 pages
Publication Date: 1st May 2007
ISBN: 9781550289756
Format: 7in x 4.25in
black and white photographs

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 27th June 2012
ISBN: 9781552779118
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  JNF025240, JNF053240, JNF054070, JNF054110
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 12 To 17
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 4.6


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Record Books

Recordbooks Series

Sport biographies highlighting key social issues

Series Website

Series features

  • Ideal for reluctant readers
  • Hi-lo
  • Short chapters, easy-to-read format
  • Great for ESL and adult students
  • Writing with a flair for making history feel like novels
  • Accompanied by historical photos and sports trivia

"Historic photos and short chapters promise to make the book palatable for reluctant readers."
—Quill & Quire

"Kids who like 'infotainment' will be drawn to these books that read like a novel but includes fact boxes, photographs and a glossary." —CM Magazine

Recordbooks are non-fiction stories that help reluctant readers understand history and social issues through the lens of the true story of a sports hero. Showing the process of social change on issues like racism, diversity and conflict, these books engage and provide historical context by telling the often-heroic story of how an athlete or a team worked to change attitudes around them.