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Pinned

by Alfred C. Martino

Published by Harcourt, 2005
320 pages
ISBN: 0-15-205355-7

Ages 13-16

Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane are two very different teens with one thing in common: both are exceptional wrestlers with their eyes set on winning the state championship. Alfred Martino’s narrative moves back and forth like a wrestling match between them as each boy is the focus of alternating chapters that reveal details about his life and why becoming State Champion is so important to him. Each boy must wrestle with his own internal demons and external pressures, as well as work his body mercilessly in order to achieve success. Each makes sacrifices that cost him friendships, family harmony, and even academic success. Both Bobby and Ivan are flawed characters, and the upper hand is constantly shifting in the mind of the reader regarding whom to root for as these two teens are motivated by very different reasons toward the same goal. Ivan and Bobby do not know each other, and the tension created as the story builds toward the inevitable matchup of Ivan against Bobby in the state finals is both exhausting and exhilarating in a novel that offers a wealth of realistic wrestling-related scenes for sports fans, along with wrestling as a metaphor for coming of age.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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