The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

December 16, 2009
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Alfred Brooks’s life is spiraling out of control. In The Contender, Alfred is a high school dropout, with only his best friend, James, and his aunt supporting him. He is constantly chased by Major and his gang. But life seems okay, until James is arrested for breaking into a store, and Major blames Alfred. So, to become somebody and protect himself, Alfred becomes a boxer. He’s determined and trains every day to get a shot at a fight. Finally, his day comes and his coach, Mr. Donatelli, sees he’s ready for his first fight. He dominates, proving his worth as a fighter. The story begins to pick up even more, especially during the fights. Robert Lipsyte uses a unique style of writing to put you into the fight, helping you see every move. However, when Alfred seems unbeatable, he begins to break down. Can he stay on top of his fighting, or will he collapse under the pressure?
The Contender is an amazing story, which is gripping from start to finish. The author places you right next to Alfred, with his incredible writing style. The book also encourages you to be like Alfred, never giving up on your dreams and rising to the top. My only problem with the book was that it wasn’t long enough, leaving me wanting to find out what happens next.
I would reccomend this book to readers at around middle school level and up, who enjoy lots of action. It was really an amazing book, with a solid plot and great meaning. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!





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