by Paula Johanson
March 1, 2015
Who broke the colour barrier in the NHL?
A man whose professional hockey career statistics include leading the senior leagues for scoring and for low penalty minutes – and a single shift on the ice in an NHL game. He was scouted three times by NHL teams before that game, and courted away from the NHL to a powerful role in three different leagues before retiring.
He is Larry Kwong, a Canadian of Chinese descent born in Vernon BC in 1923, a hard-working man and World War II serviceman who played hockey most of his life.
Paula Johanson explores the life and accomplishments of the China Clipper, Larry Kwong, whose story is one of an indomitable spirit who triumphs in the face of adversity and social discrimination.
This is a valuable addition to the lore of Canada’s great game. Bravo!
As a lifelong hockey fan I was fascinated by the story.
B.C. writer and self-described lifelong hockey fan Paula Johanson reminds us of the ephemeral nature of sports history in King Kwong, her marvellous little biography of the whirlwind on skates who blew out of the dusty interior 75 years ago. […] Johanson’s book with Five Rivers Publishing is aimed at young adults but I doubt there’s a hockey fan who will be put off any more than Larry Kwong was by his nickname as he dashed up the ice to score the winning goal for the Smoke Eaters in that long-forgotten B.C. Championship of 1946.
Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, 2015.