The Boxer by Kathleen KarrThe Boxer by Kathleen Karr

The Boxer

byKathleen Karr

Paperback | September 10, 2004

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Hard-hitting historical fiction

Ever since his father ran off two years before, fifteen-year-old Johnny Woods has struggled to help support his ma and five siblings, sacrificing his own schooling in the process. Still, there's been hardly enough money each month to make the rent, and Johnny's dream of a house in Brooklyn, away from the tenement slums, is out of reach.

Then Johnny discovers boxing. He is a natural-born fighter, with street smarts, determination, and an explosive uppercut. Although boxing is illegal in 1885 New York, Johnny powers his way through every obstacle, believing he has found the means to raise himself and his family out of poverty. But as he moves closer to his biggest fight yet, Johnny must reconcile his need to help his loved ones with a sharpening desire to achieve something outside the ring, starting with his education. In bringing to life Johnny's struggle and ultimate success, Kathleen Karr offers readers a compelling portrait of an appealing young champion.

Kathleen Karr is the author of several books, including The Great Turkey Walk, which was named a Best Book of the Year by both School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.
Title:The BoxerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.41 inPublished:September 10, 2004Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374408866

ISBN - 13:9780374408862

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Read from the Book

From The BoxerBrought it on my own head, I had. My ma's always been after me not to fight. But what's a little fellow like me meant to do? Seems like there's always been someone after me for one thing or the other, always been someone bigger. Tonight had just seemed like a reasonable solution to a lot of things. Tonight in the room behind Brodie's Saloon. Just my luck Brodie was behind on his payoffs. Just my luck New York City's finest picked tonight for a raid. I twisted up a little tighter, trying not to let too much of me touch the filthy mattress. The bruises from Brodie's back room began to throb. Everywhere, it felt like. I closed my eyes and tried not to breathe the cell's loathsome air.Where had I gone wrong?

Editorial Reviews

"An enticing mix of sports, action, family drama and period detail in this saga of an amateur boxer growing up in 19th-century Manhattan . . . The book's one-two-punch pacing and warmhearted resolutions will keep the pages turning." -Publisher's Weekly