Scholastic Canada: Rights
Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Willie O'Ree

Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Willie O'Ree

by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Mike Deas

ISBN 9781443175616 Hardcover
32 Pages | Ages 4 to 8
See an excerpt

Meet Willie O'Ree—Hockey Hall of Famer and a trailblazer for diversity on and off the ice!

On January 18, 1958, Willie O’Ree made history as the first black player in the NHL when he suited up with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens. O’Ree went on to play a total of 45 games with the Bruins, a remarkable achievement considering what he overcame to get there. In addition to dealing with racism, bigotry and name-calling, Willie lived with a secret disability: he was blind in one eye — a fact he had to keep to himself, or he’d never play in the NHL. Thanks to his relentless positivity and love of the game, Willie’s time with the Bruins was only one of his many achievements in hockey. The Scholastic Canada Biography series aims to introduce young readers to remarkable Canadians whose lives and contributions have shaped our country and led the way for others to follow in their footsteps.

Sample spread


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection, 2020

Rights Sold

  • French (N. Amer) - Éditions Scholastic

Selling Points

  • Willie O'Ree has been called the” Jackie Robinson of hockey" and is a role model to many athletes
  • He currently serves as the NHL's Director of Youth Development and as an ambassador for NHL Diversity.
  • The Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award was recently introduced by the NHL.
  • This lively new biography series is unlike anything available to Canadian children today — lively, colourful and a great introduction to larger issues.


Also by
Elizabeth MacLeod

  • Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Elsie MacGill
  • Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Tom Longboat
  • Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Viola Desmond
  • Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Chris Hadfield
  • Colossal Canada

Contact Information

Maral Maclagan, Rights and Contracts Manager | 416-915-3524
604 King Street West, Toronto, ON, M5V 1E1

Image credits