PCC English instructor Brian Kennedy’s new book “Growing Up Hockey” is capturing the interest of everyone, hockey fan or not, who has ever been passionate about anything.”Growing Up Hockey,” a memoir, comes from a professional and self-proclaimed obsessed fan who was never really good at the game, and who upon looking back on his childhood thought it a good idea to document it. “I just sat down one day and wrote a story,” said Kennedy. “By the end of the day, four or five other [stories] popped up.”

Kennedy’s love of hockey began at an early age in Montreal, Canada where he watched the older kids walking with their skates strapped over their shoulders to the nearest frozen lake. His early foray into hockey takes him back to his collection of playing cards, the communal significance of the game, and having to trick his dad into buying goalie pads. This is at a time when, according to Kennedy, in order to obtain gear one had only three choices: work for it, invent it, or trick your parents into buying. Kennedy at one point made his own goalie pads out of cushions.

“Growing Up Hockey” is about doing what you love as much as it is about playing sports. “It’s [about] what hockey did to me,” said Kennedy. Much of the praise he has received for his work has come from friends and relatives who relate closely to his character’s acts of devotion towards becoming more connected with the game. Kennedy admiringly recognized their feelings, saying, “These aren’t my stories alone.” The voice of the book seems to resonate among those outside the realm of hockey.

PCC professor Beverly Tate described the book as “insightful. realistic, and touching.”

“Growing Up Hockey” takes the reader to Kennedy’s moment in the limelight in his years playing professionally as a house-league third-liner and goalie. But, to Kennedy, the pinnacle of his passion for hockey was when he touched the Mighty Duck’s Stanley Cup in Los Angeles. “I don’t care what anyone says, [that] was my Stanley Cup,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy described his book as an immigrant story. Having relocated from Canada to Ohio, he then found himself in Los Angeles where he was surprised to find others with a familiar admiration for hockey.

Kennedy is now a columnist for Insidehockey.com, a website devoted to the game. One look at his articles and you can sense just how much a part of his life the game is. He now spends most of his time attending games and enjoys the perks of having full press access.

“Growing Up Hockey” can be purchased at the PCC bookstore with a 20 percent discount for students, and at Amazon.com.
Kennedy will have a reading from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct 28th, at the Physical Education’s Fitness and Food Fair. He is also planning to read at Vroman’s in Old Town Pasadena.

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