Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920: A Book Review

The cover of the book Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920.

Title: Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920
Author: Paul Keery
Illustrator: Michael Wyatt
Publisher: TEACH Magazine
Grade Range: 5-8

Book Summary

In 1920, hockey teams across Canada played for the privilege to represent their country at the Olympics. In the end, one team remained standing—the Winnipeg Falcons, a small group of unknown superstars. Comprised of players of Icelandic descent, the Falcons experienced considerable prejudice from the other Canadian hockey teams, yet easily defeated them before going on to compete in the Olympics. Overseas, their incredible talents were finally recognized when the Falcons made Canada the first country in history to win a gold medal in the sport. From humble beginnings, a pure love for hockey catapulted the team to victory and global prominence.

Thoughts about the book Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920 by Paul Keery

Graphic novels offer a different twist to the usual way to read. Many kids love the concept: full colour, detailed drawings filling every comic-style page. What could be better than combining a graphic novel with Canadian history? Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920 by Paul Keery is a 2021 graphic novel all about a team in one of Canada’s favourite sports- hockey!

However, their story was still not an easy one. The team encountered many other problems such as injury and fundraising to be able to pay for their trip to the Olympics. Even the actual journey to the Olympics was nothing like it would be today! The location of the game, the number of players, the equipment (or lack thereof) that the other teams used and some other rules were very different for the Falcons. There were so many new things to deal with! What a great lesson for our kids- teaching them about what it takes to follow a dream.

The story goes on to show the results of all the team’s hard work. It was shocking to read about how the team never even got their gold medal. It was never sent or perhaps it was lost along the way. And even more disappointing, Olympic historians claimed that the games in 1920 weren’t official Olympic games. The title of the first ice hockey gold medal in the Olympics was given to The Toronto Granites in 1924. The Winnipeg Falcons were forgotten and denied their right to be known as the team with the first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey until 2005…over 80 years later! The book ends with noting that the Winnipeg Falcons were finally inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2006. What a long road it was to get there!

TEACH Magazine is offering a 20% discount to Homeschoolers on their books Golden Boys: The Winnipeg Falcons of 1920, No Reason to Apologize: The Resilient Legacy of Viola Desmond and Suffrage: Canadian Women and the Vote, until the end of April 2023. Enter code HOMESCHOOL20 on their website.

Learn More About The Winnipeg Falcons

Love Learning History through Literature?

Check out our Canadian History Through Living Books List! Over 100 pages of books to choose from… all about Canadian history – picture books, chapter books, to books for high school. Includes books with diverse perspectives and experiences all organized into time periods or historical events. Now available in the store!

Cover of Canadian History Through Living Books

Although I was given a copy of the book for purpose of review, all opinions are my own.

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