A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty


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

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest