The Boxer

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Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000 - Juvenile Fiction - 169 pages
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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.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In 1880s New York, a young lad with inadequate means but an abundance of character uses his head, heart, and fists to battle his way out of the tenements. Johnny Woods works 12 hours a day at a ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Kathleen Karr was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on April 21, 1946. She received a bachelor's degree from Catholic University in 1968 and a master's degree in English literature from Providence College. In 1971, she began working at the American Film Institute in Washington, D.C. She also taught high school and college before taking up writing. She published five works of women's fiction before moving to children's fiction. Her children's novels included It Ain't Always Easy and The Great Turkey Walk. She received the Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction in 2000 for The Boxer and the Agatha Award for best Children's/YA Mystery of the Year in 2003 for The Seventh Knot. She died on December 6, 2017 at the age of 71.

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