“From Advocate to Author: New Children’s Chapter Book Series Features American Special Hockey Association” By Chris Beehler, ASHA Ambassadors Executive Director

I write today with exciting news that will steal your heart! This is such a rare opportunity. The American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) is the largest special hockey organization in the world with over 58 member programs in more than 50 US cities. And, now ASHA is featured in the Official Adventures children’s chapter book series that is America by ice storm!

ASHA strives to give people with physical and developmental disabilities the chance to play ice hockey in an environment which is adapted to the level of ability which the athletes are able to participate. But, ASHA is very different from other special hockey programs.

On November 16, ASHA will host a Congressional Hill Briefing on therapeutic style of hockey and in conjunction, Jayne Jones Beehler, the author of Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey, the third book (released in October 2016) in the Official Adventures series, will join Mike Hickey, ASHA’s National President, at this briefing. Jones, a former Hill staff, now national legal director of ASHA has taken her love and advocacy for children with special needs from pen to paper.

And, you don’t want to miss how this children’s book and series is America’s hottest series for young readers while teaching inclusion, respect and love for the game.

Players with Down syndrome and autism have incredible behavioral outcomes because of this unique form of special hockey. In collaboration with ASHA, this third chapter book is being released to showcase ASHA’s incredible programming and how ASHA is changing lives. This book teaches young readers about inclusion and respect for all players, regardless of talent or ability.

The highlights of this book include:

  • The Official Adventures book series is authored by Jayne Jones Beehler and illustrated by Katrina Dohm. This third chapter book, in the series, is set in Hockeytown USA and continues everyone’s love for the game.
  • Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey has all hearts leading to the rink.
  • The Hockeytown USA Pee Wees celebrate their State Pee Wee championship with an old fashioned hockey celebration banquet including a parade and special visit by Jeremy Roenick. Mr. Roenick pokes fun at the Chicago/Minnesota rivalry and announces a new American Special Hockey Team (the Minnesota Bears) will play in Hockeytown USA!
  • Blaine and Ann, two characters with Down syndrome, lace up their skates for the first time and play hockey! Ann is the character namesake of Ann Schaab, a Washington Ice Dogs hockey player. The tale shares America’s favorite real life story of Ann’s friendship with NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin and their famous sushi date.
  • Luke and Cullen (named after Matt Cullen) head to Minnesota Hockey Camps located in Nisswa, Minnesota where they learn that you can play hockey in the rink and up north in the lake. The tale features showcases Minnesota Hockey Camp’s grand traditions and hockey artifacts.
  • Avery (named after Avery Hakstol) and Paisley (named after Paisley Leopold) fly to Finland playing for Team USA in their U10 international tournament along with their Coach Lamoureux (named after Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux), do they bring home the gold against Team Canada? Young readers will learn Finnish and love the competitive spirit of Avery and Paisley. Coach Lamoureux encourages the girls to make a bucket list including playing for the University of North Dakota, the University of Minnesota and making Team USA for the Olympics.
  • The American Special Hockey Association hosts their annual fundraiser at the conclusion of the tale where current and former Minnesota Wild players have their family members play in a friendly fun game against the Minnesota Bears. The event includes a silent auction with Minnesota ties.

This chapter book and book series has it all: special hockey, girls hockey, precise real-life illustrations, a glossary with new terms, love for the game while teaching life lessons, family and sportsmanship. The book series features two referees, Rylee and Rosee, who instill sportsmanship, humor and victorious, on and off the ice.

The book has been endorsed by NHL players and coaches: Alex Ovechkin (Washington); Corey Perry (Anaheim), Rick Nash (New York Rangers), Brett Burns (San Jose), Matt Cullen (Pittsburgh), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Jordan Leopold (Minnesota), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia), Coach Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia), Coach Phil Housley (Nashville), Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (Team USA) and others.

Teaching respect for all individuals is critically important raising children today. This book series offers a fun way of instilling grand traditions of sportsmanship with ethics, values and good hearted fun. I invite teachers to contact me for special pricing of the book series and for the author to conduct in-person or tele-interviews/discussions with classrooms, from 2nd to 6th grade.

We are wild about reading and you should be too!

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“The Official Adventures” is a new children’s chapter book series that teaches the importance of sportsmanship, persistence, discipline, and respect – for referees, each other, and individuals with special needs.

The series tells the tale of two hockey loving brothers, Blaine and Cullen. On and off the ice, they have deep love for the game and also each other! Cullen is the all-star team captain and Blaine, who has Down syndrome, is the team manager and clearly the “unsung hero” of the team. The brothers join Rylee and Rosee, America’s favorite referees, in game day adventures filled with laughter, love and lessons.

“This is a rarity in children’s literature. We’ve seen characters with special needs on stage, film and other artistic expressions. But in books such a character is almost non-existent. It really is ‘ice breaking,’” states Katrina Dohm, Illustrator and Co-Creator, The Official Adventures Series.

The storyline doesn’t hide Blaine’s challenges; instead the text proudly displays Blaine’s heart-warming perseverance, his discipline and love for the game, his family and life. Blaine’s leadership and unselfish actions speak louder than any textual words. Through detailed illustration young readers are able to learn respect and a better understanding for the challenges individuals with special needs face on a daily basis.

The first two books in the series “Drop the Puck, It’s Hockey Season” and “Drop the Puck, Shoot for the Cup” are out now, with the third book “Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey” set to be released this Fall 2016.

Praise

The book series has received the endorsement and support of NHL greats:

This is a very worthwhile read that contains life lessons beyond the rink. It’s a great pickup and I especially appreciate that it includes Blaine, a special needs character.” –Mike Hickey, President, American Special Hockey Association.

“Drop the Puck, Shoot for the Cup is a great book with a very important message for kids everywhere – Everyone deserves the chance to play hockey, no matter what their capability.” –Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

“The Official Adventures Series books are terrific heart-warming stories that celebrate hockey, family and children with special needs! Our family loves these hockey tales that teach life lessons and encourages everyone to treat others with respect.” –Bridget and Matt Cullen (Pittsburgh Penguins Center)

“This book teaches real life lessons through sport, through victory and losses, and emphasizes the importance of hard work regardless of the score.” –Jocelyne Lamoureux, Team USA, Silver Olympic Medalist

“Playing hockey is awesome and reading about it can be just as fun. It’s important to learn fundamentals on and off the ice!” –Claude Giroux, Captain, Philadelphia Flyers

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About the Authors

With a shared love and energy-driven passion for outstanding academics, stellar athletics and innovative arts, Jayne Jones Beehler, a college professor, and Katrina Dohm, a high school educator, have teamed up and joined forces as co-authors and co-creators of “The Official Adventures.” Jones Beehler, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, is passionate about children, education, foster care and adoption, and child abuse/prevention public policy. Jones Beehler worked for US Senator Norm Coleman from 2002-2006, then headed to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Steve Sviggum. Jones Beehler teaches political science classes at Concordia University-St. Paul where her students have gained national attention and praise for their legislative activities and involvement.

Dohm was exposed to hockey growing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but her true love of the game began when she went to college in January of 1987 at the University of North Dakota. She arrived just in time to cheer on her future alma mater as they skated their way to an NCAA Championship. Dohm graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education.  For the past twenty-two years, Dohm has dedicated herself to being an art teacher and all the “extras” that go with it.  Her classroom is filled to the brim with personal touches (especially her favorite color, PURPLE) student projects galore, yearbook publications, shelves filled with art and design books, school spirit signs, and memorabilia.

Jones Beehler and Dohm, have earned “Hall of Fame” status for their real-life story-telling, colorful fresh illustrating and combined natural zest for helping young learners enjoy reading, appreciate the arts, while ensuring their writing and books instill life lessons and reader’s adventures of their own, while inspiring and reaching educational goals.

To learn more, go to http://www.officialadventures.org/

Thank you Kelsey from Book Publicity Services for sharing this guest post with us!

Kellee Signature andRickiSig

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