BN.com Gift Guide

The Berlin Boxing Club

( 19 )

Overview

Sydney Taylor Award-winning novel Berlin Boxing Club is loosely inspired by the true story of boxer Max Schmeling's experiences following Kristallnacht.

Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But the bullies at his school in Nazi-era Berlin, don't care that Karl has never been in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by attacks on a heritage he doesn't accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth.

...
See more details below
Hardcover
$14.58
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $4.87   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
The Berlin Boxing Club

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

Sydney Taylor Award-winning novel Berlin Boxing Club is loosely inspired by the true story of boxer Max Schmeling's experiences following Kristallnacht.

Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But the bullies at his school in Nazi-era Berlin, don't care that Karl has never been in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by attacks on a heritage he doesn't accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth.

So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl's father to give Karl boxing lessons, A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but now it seems like the perfect chance to reinvent himself.

But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. And as Max's fame forces him to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, Karl begins to wonder where his hero's sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm's way?

Includes an author's note and sources page detailing the factual inspirations behind the novel.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Winner of the 2012 Sydney Taylor Award for Teen Readers

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As he did in My Mother the Cheerleader (2007), Sharenow delivers a masterful historical novel that examines racism through the eyes of both children and real historical figures. This story follows aspiring cartoonist Karl, a 14-year-old Jewish boy in 1930s Berlin who is on the receiving end of beatings from his Aryan classmates (Karl's cartoons and comics appear throughout). His father's friend, boxing champion Max Schmeling, agrees to train Karl as a boxer so that he can defend himself and his younger sister, Hildy. As the Nazi regime gains power and influence, it becomes clear that Germany will eventually not be safe for Karl and his family. Over the course of a few years, Karl craves the freedom of moving to America, falls in love with his Catholic neighbor, Greta, and meets a cross-dressing homosexual called the Countess, forcing Karl to confront his own prejudices. The assorted plot threads and immersion in the worlds of art and boxing make the novel a bit crowded, but Sharenow's deft touch with his characters and his portrayal of turbulent prewar Berlin more than compensate. Ages 12–up. (May)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“This beautifully written coming-of-age story puts a human face on both the victims and the tormentors during the holocaust while revealing on a national level the political importance and implications of the historic match between black boxer Joe Louis and German hero Max Schmeling.”
ALA Booklist
“Readers will be drawn by the sports detail and by the close-up narrative ofthe daily oppression.”
The Horn Book
“A meaty, readable account of the perils and pitfalls of daily life in Nazi Germany.”
Booklist (starred review)
Praise for MY MOTHER THE CHEERLEADER:“Readers will be held fast by the history told from the inside.”
VOYA - Kevin S. Beach
In 1934 Berlin, fourteen-year-old comic-book geek and artist Karl Stern, though raised as an agnostic, must face the fact that he is technically Jewish. Ever-increasing harassment at school, his father's art gallery, and home make life difficult for his and other Jewish families. Then Max Schmeling, heavyweight champion of the world, through a deal at his father's gallery, offers Karl boxing lessons. Karl, thin and gangly, embraces the lessons and develops over the next four years into a confident boxer with a perfect record and a budding romance with a German girl. He strives to protect his more ethnic-looking sister from persecution while entertaining her with his cartoon drawings and stories, which are interspersed throughout the novel. The story culminates with some difficult choices and a daring escape from Germany to America. The author's previous book, My Mother the Cheerleader (HarperTeen, 2007) also deals with racism in a powerful way. This beautifully written coming-of-age story puts a human face on both the victims and the tormentors during the holocaust while revealing on a national level the political importance and implications of the historic match between black boxer Joe Louis and German hero Max Schmeling. Readers who enjoyed Bryce Courtenay's World War II boxing saga The Power of One (Ballantine, 1990/VOYA December 1989) should also embrace Karl's exciting narrative and hope for a sequel. Reviewer: Kevin S. Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This powerful and thought-provoking novel set in Berlin from 1934 to 1938 dramatically chronicles the impact of Hitler's rise to power through the eyes of Karl Stern. After suffering a humiliating beating by some pro-Nazi bullies, the 13-year-old happily accepts the chance to be coached by Max Schmeling, the champion boxer he meets at a reception in his father's art gallery. Boxing has never been one of Karl's interests, but it becomes his main focus. Prior to his humiliation at school, drawing cartoons was his passion and they are cleverly interspersed in the story. He and his family are nonobservant Jews, and Karl even expresses anti-Semitic attitudes early in the book. But eventually politics and economics begin to overshadow everything in the boy's life. Much of the art at the Stern Gallery has to be sold secretly since the Nazis have banned it as degenerate. Karl's mother has periods of depression. As the entrenchment of Fascism grows, things become even more confusing. Karl admires Schmeling greatly, but becomes disillusioned by the boxer's association with Hitler and high-ranking Nazis. The gallery is destroyed on Kristallnacht when roving bands of Nazis smash windows of businesses owned by Jews. Karl's father is wounded and Karl and his sister run to a customer who risks a great deal to help them. Ultimately it is Schmeling who saves the two young Sterns and pays for their passage to America. This is an unusual story with well-drawn, complex characters, gripping history, and intense emotion.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
The historically freighted match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling forms the backdrop for this compelling coming-of-age novel. Fourteen-year-old Karl Stern has never considered himself Jewish. His father is an atheist, his mother an agnostic. He grew up in a secular household, has no religious background and even has a religiously neutral name. But in 1934 Berlin, with the rise of the Nazis and the newly entitled bullies at school, Karl is Jewish. He gets beaten up and, eventually, expelled from school. Enter Max Schmeling, heavyweight champion of the world, who offers Karl boxing lessons in exchange for a portrait from Mr. Stern's art gallery. Karl's journey to manhood, from 1934 to 1938, is a rough one for a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, but Sharenow weaves a colorful tale from the cultural context of the mid-1930s: the Holocaust, Kristallnacht, degenerate art, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Picasso and Matisse. Besides being an up-and-coming boxer, Karl is a cartoonist, and his cartoons and drawings add visual depth to the novel, effectively delineating Karl's growing sense of himself and his purpose, inspired by his beloved Action Comics hero, Superman. A brief author's note continues the story beyond 1938, relating the postwar friendship between Schmeling and Joe Louis. A fine one-two punch with the author's previous powerful work, My Mother the Cheerleader (2007). (sources) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)
Booklist (starred review)
Praise for MY MOTHER THE CHEERLEADER:“Readers will be held fast by the history told from the inside.”
ALA Booklist
“Readers will be drawn [in] by the sports detail and by the close-up narrative ofthe daily oppression.”
The Horn Book
“A meaty, readable account of the perils and pitfalls of daily life in Nazi Germany.”
Robert Lipsyte
“I held my breath as Karl Stern, fierce and thoughtful, fought his way through the Nazi Wolf Pack and his own insecurities to save his family and become a boxer and an artist.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061579684
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 528,511
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Sharenow is the vice president of nonfiction and alternative programming at A&E Network. He lives in New York with his wife and two daughters. My Mother the Cheerleader is his first novel.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is a wonderfully written historical novel set in Germany at the start of WWII. It will appeal to historical fiction readers, boys who are fascinated by boxing and those interested in the oppression of Jews in Germany before WWII. The book is complex, so higher level thinkers and strong capable readers will enjoy the book from start to finish. Reading this book made me go to the internet to research the real boxers who's names I had only heard of in order to understand more of the historical context. I call that a winner for readers and historians.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    I had to read this book anyways..

    I had to read this book in order to get into my next grade level. At first I thought it would be a story from the germans' biased perspective. Even though there is a lot of german propaganda against jews such as Karl Stern, this book shows you Germany from a boy who was related to Jewish citizens, but neve practiced their religion. He also gets abused in very disgusting ways by a group of sadistic germans known as the wolf pack. This is a well written story about overcoming obstacles in life to achieve your goal. (I am sorry if I offended anyone of a Jewish or Germain background for I only wrote what I observed about the germains)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Amazing

    I picked up this book at random at my library and couldn't put it down after. Highly recommened!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Great book from the first page to the last!

    This is a fantastic book based in Nazi era Germany. Karl Stern, is Jewish by birth but not by religion. His family does not practice nor do they have anything to do with being Jewish. Karl has never really had a problem with any kids because he doesn't really have the look of a Jew. He soon finds out that it doesn't matter if you practice the religion, or if you look the part. To those in Nazi Germany, a Jew is a Jew.

    Karl is cornered by some kids he deems as "The Wolf Pack" and they confront him about being a Jew, this is his first experience with hatred towards Jews and it will only get worse. Karl's father is a art dealer, and a very stubborn and prideful man. Even though most artist are leaving Germany do to Hitler taking away the freedom to express oneself in any form but the way of Nazis, Karl's father still hold to his art gallery.

    After Karl is beat up, his father makes a deal with Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero. Max wanted a painted that Sig (Karl's father) has so they make a deal that Max will give Karl boxing lesson and Max can have the painting. Karl is thrilled, and soon starts a training regimen that Max gives him.

    As things start heating up in Germany, Karl soon realizes how bad it really is for the Jewish population. Although his father refuses to see it, it will eventual catch up to Karl and his family. This is a story told through the eyes of a teenager as he sees his world crumbling before him as Hitlers propaganda grows.

    I can honestly say when I was asked to review this book that I wasn't really sure whether to say yes or no, this is really not my type of book. I am not a big fan of any stories set around WWII, as its not my favorite war. My step-grandfather was part Jew and so I get a little aggravated when reading or watching anything to do with WWII, but this was a very well told story.

    The author took actual characters and events and then wove a fictitious story around them, and he did it with creative style. Max Schemling was a real German boxer from the Nazi era and I found it very interesting how the author puts him into the story.

    From the very first page I knew this story was going to upset me as well as entertain me. This is the first time in a long time, that I have read a book that grabbed me from the first page and held my attention to the last page. Karl Stern is a well developed character and you really can feel his conflicting emotions through out the story. I really wanted to punch the punching bag with him when he was frustrated. From the things that happen within his own life (girlfriend, friends, school, boxing), to what was happening with his family as a whole.

    This story is very fast paced and gripping and I think even if its not your style of book that it is a powerful enough book to get anybodies attention. I would recommend this book to everyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Great book

    Great book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Hhe

    i loved this book. Boxing i pretty kool

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Really Good

    The harsh depiction of Nazi Germany is all too accurate in this compelling and heartwarming story of a boy and his dedication to not only boxing, but his family. Highly recommended for teens as there are some harsh, inappropriate, and plain awkward parts. Overall, a great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was not expecting to check this book out at the library; I saw

    I was not expecting to check this book out at the library; I saw it, read the description really quickly, made a split-second decision, and took it. It was just one of those book you check out on a whim and hope it’s give. I was a bit skeptical at first because it didn’t seem to be the type of book that I normally read, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.

    World War II-era books that are based in Germany can easily become repetitive and dreary, but luckily The Berlin Boxing Club did not fall into this rut. I loved that Sharenow didn’t sugarcoat any of the events; he had many graphic descriptions of the atrocities that occurred to Jews during that time.

    Because of the emphasis on boxing, I was really able to develop a deeper respect for boxing. Lately I’ve found that I am a small boxing fan; I don’t watch it much or know a lot about it, but I find it much more interesting and entertaining than any other televised sports (i.e. football, basketball, soccer). I really liked that I was able to learn about the basics of boxing alongside Karl. As he learned the different punches and jabs, I learned the different punches and jabs.

    The character development was a bit confusing to me, however. For instance, Karl was extremely dynamic in many ways, but at the same time there were certain instances where he seemed to hold onto traits that he had in the beginning of the novel. Now, I won’t go into detail because I hate spoilers, but there is one instance at the end of the novel where Karl can either choose to help someone or choose to run away like a coward, and the decision that he ends up making is one that I feel he would have made in the beginning of the book before he changed.

    I felt the beginning-middle half of the book went at a normal, casual pace that was easy to follow. The last half of the book was just as well-written and easy to follow, but I felt that the pacing was a bit too fast. Too much seemed to happen in too short of an amount of time. It was as if the major events happened in the last one hundred pages of the book.

    Overall, this is, quite, simply, a really good book. It’s brutal, cruel, and harsh, but that was the reality of Nazi-era Germany.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    when

    when is Sharenow going to write a sequel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Very good book to read for teenager or an adult.

    Very good book to read for teenager or an adult.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Great book.

    Great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)