When he was 12, Jesse Paul Ross co-wrote the All-Star Hockey Activity Book with his brother Noah and father Julian, publisher of Bluefield Books and past-publisher of Polestar Press.

He recalled, "It was late April when Polestar asked us to do the book: Noah was still in school, and he had homework and stuff, and Dad was busy at work. So right at the start I got about six puzzles done, then I slacked off a bit and basically just concentrated on all the hockey websites. But it was hard, sometimes, when we'd be all working together, trying to come up with new stuff for the book. I'd say an idea that I thought was really good--and both of them didn't like it. And that would be okay, and we wouldn't do it. Then one of them would have an idea and they'd both like it, and I didn't, but there wasn't anything I could do--it was two against one. It would always seem like I'd work really hard on something, like a puzzle or a wordsearch, and then Noah would come home from school, take a look at it and say, "Well, it's okay, but I'd change this and that, etc." And then Dad comes in and says, "Yeah, it's a really good start," or something like that, and I found that really irritating because I thought I was finished. Their suggestions usually made it better, but still it was really annoying.

"The hardest thing I did was a Women's Hockey Word Search. Hayley Wickenheiser is in it, and she has like 12 letters in her name, and we had to put her in cause she's good. So the puzzle had to be that big across and the same down, which made for a really huge puzzle. We originally had 16 names and then, after working on it for a while, we realized we'd have to add a bunch more names. Plus we wanted the leftover 19 letters to spell out the nickname of the Chinese Goalie Guo Hong--The Great Wall of China--so we needed some odd small names, like Aki of Finland, to make it work. So it was all Wickenheiser's fault. If her name was Wicker or Heiser it would've made my job so much easier. I ended up doing most of the computer research, cause my dad doesn't know much about computers. If there's a problem, say a broken pipe, he'll think it's the end of the world. We've got the slowest modem ever, so it took forever to get online, and he'd just be going nuts.

"All in all, it went quite smoothly, considering there were three of us working on it. I think it actually made for a better book, with more variety, because we each got to work on what really interested us."


All-Star Hockey Activity Book

All-Star Sports Puzzles - Basketball (Raincoast $9.95) 978-1-55192-822-7;

All-Star Sports Puzzles - Hockey (Raincoast $9.95) 978-1-55192-810-4.

Slapshot Hockey Quizbook: 50 Fun Games brought to you by O Canada Crosswords (Nightwood 2009)

[BCBW 2009] "Sports"