Read A Different Game Online

Authors: Sylvia Olsen

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A Different Game (10 page)

BOOK: A Different Game

“You are all medicine for my grandson. Good medicine. The good feelings in this room tonight will help him to heal. In Vancouver the doctors will give Albert treatment. I will go with him, but it is you who have given us what we need to be healthy. You are our medicine. Albert is a winning soccer player. Now he has a different kind of game to play. And he cannot win this game without his team.” She spreads her hands out. “You are his team. Albert will be back. He will play with the boys again.”

When everyone has finished eating and after Coach Kennedy auctions all the items, Mom and Molly's dad lay a blanket on the floor. While Uncle Rudy and Albert's uncle sing a song they wrote for Albert, one by one people walk up to the blanket and drop money into it. Some people drop coins, some drop five- or ten-dollar bills. Some people even drop twenty dollars or fifty dollars. The Formidable Four stand at the corners of the blanket surrounded by all the rest of the Riverside Strikers. When the song is over, the boys fold the blanket and take it into the kitchen to count the money—$2,200—more than enough.

Before anyone gets up to go home, Murphy calls Coach Kennedy and the boys together in a huddle in the center of the gym. He puts his hand into the middle. The rest of them follow, making a circle with spokes. They holler:

What's our name? Yeah!

What's our name? Yeah!

Get 'er done and win the game!

Goooooo, Albert.


Thanks to the young people in my family and the ones who read my books. You continue to inspire me to tell stories and write them down. Thanks to the wonderful Andrew Wooldridge and Bob Tyrrell at Orca Books, who make books for young people an art form and work so hard to get books and kids together. Thank you both for the privilege of publishing with your great company. And, of course, to my editor (and wonderful author) Sarah Harvey—thank you, thank you for keeping me on track.

Sylvia Olsen is the author of two previous Orca Young Readers as well as two Orca Soundings. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia, with her partner Tom, and Jude, their very beautiful and energetic Australian shepherd.

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