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category: Children's Nonfiction
published: Dec 2007
publisher: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
imprint: Lorimer

Star Power

The Legend and Lore of Cyclone Taylor

by Eric Zweig

tagged: hockey, sports & recreation, winter sports

Nicknamed "Cyclone" for his breathtaking speed, Fred Taylor was hockey's first superstar. Though known for his squeaky clean game, Taylor was often caught up in the politics and turmoil of hockey's early professional years. Star Power is the story of one of Canada's greatest athletes and a game in transition.

[Fry Reading Level - 4.8

About the Author

Eric Zweig is a managing editor with Dan Diamond & Associates, producers of the annual NHL Official Guide & Record Book since 1984. Eric’s books include Twenty Greatest Hockey Goals and Art Ross: The Hockey Legend Who Built the Bruins. He lives in Owen Sound, Ontario.

Contributor Notes

ERIC ZWEIG has written about sports and sports history for many major publications, including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. He has also been a writer/producer with CBC Radio Sports and TSN SportsRadio, and written several popular books about hockey for both adults and children. He lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, with his family.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 17
4 to 8
Reading age:
12 to 17
Editorial Reviews

Star Power is a biography of Fred Taylor, known to hockey history as Cyclone because of his amazing speed on skates. Taylor was born between 1883 and 1885 in Tara, ON, and died in 1979. The exact date of his birth is unknown. The sources used by author Eric Zweig differ on this fact. Other facts about Taylor's early life are also vague but not those about his hockey career. However, whether he scored after skating the length of the rink backwards is not a recognized fact and is one exception to the accuracy of the hockey career facts. Taylor played for a number of teams in the early part of the last century. These included the Ottawa Senators (then a team in the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association prior to their being an NHL), the Portage Lake Hockey Club in Houghton, Michigan, and Portage La Prairie of the Manitoba League.
As Zweig indicates in the title, much of what is known about Taylor is legend. In his day, there were no instant replays, therefore, whether, or not, he scored a goal after skating the length of the rink backwards, will always remain a legend. But, as Zweig points out, legends can become facts. This may happen if they are repeated often enough. It is true that Taylor was a very fast skater (many who saw him play mentioned this), but legend has it that he was nicknamed Cyclone after Governor General Lord Grey said, "He's a cyclone if ever I saw one," at the conclusion of an Ottawa Senators game in 1908. However, Lord Grey may not even have attended the game.
Star Power is illustrated with four, decorative, black and white photographs scattered throughout the book. These show Taylor in the uniforms of the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Millionaires, in a 1904 picture of the Listowel Hockey Team and in a group shot of an old-timers' team. There are, in addition, five pictures of Taylor on the book's covers. There is also a useful Glossary with definitions of hockey terms such as slashing and deke. There is no Index. The book is divided into ten chapters, averaging ten pages each.
Throughout the book, there are bracketed paragraphs that highlight events in Taylor's life and also bits of hockey history. For example, Protect Yourself tells readers about Taylor's using padding to protect himself, an idea he apparently thought up while watching padding being put on a horse's back to shield it from the saddle. This could be true, because, at only 5' 8" or 9," he was often roughed up during a game, and so he stuffed material from corsets into his hockey pants. Players were not protected with pads the way they are today.
The back cover of the book states that it is suitable for children 12 and older, but children younger than this should have little trouble with Star Power. It is not a difficult book and is suitable for recreational reading.
Author Eric Zweig has previously written a number of books about hockey, including Long Shot: How the Winnipeg Falcons Won the First Olympic Hockey Gold. He was a writer both for CBC Radio Sports and TSN Sports Radio and has written articles for newspapers such as the Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail. He is presently managing editor of Dan Diamond and Associates, described as consulting publishers to the NHL.
Thomas F. Chambers, a retired college teacher, lives in North Bay, ON.
Reviewed in "Canadian Review of Materials" Volume XIV, Number 9

— Canadian Review of Materials Vol. XIV, No. 9

"If your child is interested in hockey history, then Star Power is an ideal title. Even if you are an adult looking for a quick read on the legend of Cyclone Taylor then Star Power is a great pick up."

— Hockey Book

The ten easy to read chapters pack in much information about this famous hockey star and will attract any middle school hockey player.

— Resource Links - Vol. 13, No. 3

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