I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
In addition to the pleasure of learning about the seemingly incongruous milieu that provided the gifted Mr. Lewin the wherewithal for his artistic training, it is fascination to see how he transformed snapshots of his fellow wrestlers into magnificent watercolors.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Ted Lewin has illustrated over 100 books, all easily identified by his gift of portraiture and his superb interpretation of color and light with watercolors, his favorite medium. His detailed recreation of the 1900's in America leaves no doubt about his artistry and love for history. The Potato Man and The Great Pumpkin Switch are prime examples. This year two move titles are on my recommended list: Paperboy and Sacred River. His autobiography covers a brief but important period in his life when he was a wrestler to pay his way through art school. This autobiography will hook males who think drawing is for sissies. Ted's drawings and photos add punch to this personal memoir which is as much about the sport of wrestling as it is about Lewin's life. He and his wife Betsy, a children's book illustrator, travel to the many exotic places that appear in their books.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 UpThe world of 1950's professional wrestling altered though an artistic participant's eye. This affectionate, animated memoir of a struggling art student's unusual part-time job is part autobiography, part family scrapbook, and part portfolio, forming a surprisingly disarming whole. (July 1993)
Stephanie Zvirin
"In the summer of 1952, at age seventeen, I became a professional wrestler." What better way to begin this warm backward glance by a well-known children's book author-illustrator? With wry humor, directness, and much colorful, enticing detail, Lewin recalls his boyhood fascination with wrestling, an affection shared by his family (his two brothers also became wrestlers), and he salutes the wrestlers he came to know and admire. With Lewin as guide, we go ringside and backstage again and again. The book is filled with photographs--candid family shots, including ones of the author in the ring as well as many pictures of the men Lewin fought, laughed with, accompanied on road trips, and even used as models for his sensitive artwork. A great lure for browsers is the self-portrait of Lewin, towel around shoulders, that adorns the jacket front, and there is more of Lewin's artwork inside--simple portrait sketches and full-color paintings of wrestlers decked out in all manner of showy gear--that captures the violence of the sport but also the vulnerability, the pride, and the flamboyance of the men involved in it. As in any "family album," some of the photos are blurry, and just how Lewin, a graduate of Pratt, managed the transition from wrestling and illustrating the pulps to artwork for children's books remains a tantalizing mystery. This is not a book for today's crop of young World Wrestling Federation fans, whose enthusiasm peaks around age 10; but it is a captivating memoir all the same. It shows the human side of a sport routinely associated with glitz and gore, and Lewin's pleasure in his own recollections is wonderfully contagious. That he cherishes his memories of wrestling as much as he loves his art is very clear.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531054772
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 0.59 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2000

    Pro for teens

    This book cuts through the hype and BS bravado of other celebritiy pro wrestling books. I found it a nice counterpart to all the silliness of the 'sport.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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