Published by: Chronicle Books
To Be Released on: March 6th, 2018
Ages: 10 & up
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
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Rating: 3 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He's fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he's always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he's found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?
A gripping, humor filled story about one boy's fight for life, and what it means to live. Written in prose, this story's narrative is upfront and direct. Levi's life isn't an easy one, and this story doesn't sugar coat what Levi deals with both personally with his health, or his far from perfect home life. His strength, and will to live a normal life the best he came, is fueled by the person he is when he enters the ring.
Levi is the kind of character who had me rooting for him from page one. He's the kind of character who feels incredibly real. He's vulnerable, strong, makes mistakes, learns from them, and in the chaos of the world around him, tries to figure out how he can achieve the dreams he wants, regardless of how impossible they may be. I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Levi.
While I liked the way this book was written, I really enjoyed the way the dialogue between Levi and his brother Timothy, were written. Written as journal entries to each other, it allowed both boys to express themselves in ways they had troubles verbalizing in person. It also solidified the kind of the relationship the brothers had. Levi was able to understand Timothy more, and why he made the choices he did. Timothy is also able to understand where Levi is coming from, and why he feels the way he does. As a reader, I enjoyed seeing both boys work through their frustrations, their fears, explain their actions, and the love they had for each other.
There's a lot that this book talks about, and I appreciated how each of the topics were handled. Some of the issues where wrapped up a little too neatly at the end of the book, but that didn't hinder my liking this book. It's still a solid, good read. I like that this book is written in a way that even the most reluctant reader will enjoy reading it. Definitely a read I like early middle grade readers will like.