Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story
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Kim Washburn has been writing for children for more than ten years. While working at Focus on the Family, two of her original stories were recognized by the Evangelical Press Association, including first place in the fiction category. Her nonfiction books for young readers have reached a wide audienceincluding Breaking Through by Grace: The Bono Story and Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story.
Washburn uses Fisher's story to set an example for readers, because Fisher places God above winning the Stanley Cup. She begins with a glimpse into his hockey career in 2006, and then backtracks to the 1980s to retell Fisher's life chronologically. Washburn has written for Clubhouse Jr. magazine, and had two stories recognized by the Evangelical Press Association.
The book opens with, "Hockey is many things. Wimpy is not one of them." Thinking of Mike Fisher as someone wimpy is the last thing on the readers' minds when they close the final page. He body checks anyone in his way, and is unafraid to throw the gloves. You cant help but cheer for Fisher. Washburn places quotes and stories from the past that help lead the reader to becoming an avid admirer of the athlete. Continually she reiterates Romans 12:12 and uses it to reveal Fishers attitude of faith as he faces trials of disappointment, injury, and even loss of loved ones.
This story is well written and encouraging for a Christian individual. In today's society where morals and biblical values are quickly shot out of the rink of life, it is inspiring to read of a man who is standing firm in his beliefsdespite the spotlight attention of the world.
At times, Washburn's terminology may be hard for children to understand, and the hockey game recaps will occasionally feel repetitive. However, this story is a great reminder that although we do not always know His plan, remaining faithful to God's playbook will ultimately lead to victory. I would highly recommend this book for any hockey lover or sports enthusiast. - Jeremy Paul, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Christine M. Irvin4 Stars Out Of 5A biography of a Christian hockey playerJanuary 2, 2012Christine M. IrvinQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4DEFENDER OF FAITH: THE MIKE FISHER STORY
Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story, written by Kim Washburn, is a true story based on the life of Mike Fisher, a professional hockey player for the Nashville Predators.
Born in 1980, Fisher was brought up in a Christian home. He gave his heart to Jesus at the tender age of six. As he said, "When I was six years old, I made the step of faith to accept him into my heart. I remembered I prayed with my mom before I went to school. I didn't want to wait any longer!"
Although the story provides a bit of background into his childhood, the main focus of the book is about Fisher's years on the ice, as a kid, while in high school, then in college, and as a professional hockey player. His early commitment to Christ and the church has given him a solid foundation when things got tough either on or off the ice.
What I Like: I had never heard of Mike Fisher as I'm not a fan of ice hockey. But, I am a fan of biographies, so I enjoyed reading about him.
What I Dislike: The author presents several incidents where Mike is involved in fights on the ice. According to hockey tradition, apparently it's okay to get into a scuffle on the ice as long as you are defending one of your teammates. The author brushes over these incidents making them sound like a normal part of the game. And, they might be just that. But the theme of the story is how Mike has kept his faith and stood up for what he believed his whole life, both on and off the ice. I find it difficult to justify his unsportsmanlike conduct on the ice even if it is just "part of the game".
The author also used a lot of hockey-related terms that I wasn't familiar with. However, most of them were in a context that lent some meaning to the words. I think it would have been better if a bit more definition had been provided, if not in the actual text, then with a glossary of terms at the end of the book.
Overall Rating: Overall, though, this story still deserves a very good rating as it is informative and well-written.
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