The Ring

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pyron’s debut introduces Mardie, a 15-year-old who drinks, smokes pot, does poorly in school and generally disappoints her family. Stumbling across the boxing class at her stepmother’s gym isn’t an instant fix, but when she does hit rock bottom (getting arrested for shoplifting shortly after she catches the boy she’s been seeing cheating on her), it offers her a lifeline to help put her life back together. Inspired by her coach, Kitty, Mardie focuses on boxing and her mandated community service at a home for special needs children, becoming physically and emotionally grounded. Mardie’s journey is far from smooth, as her family’s internal struggles and her falling-out with her best friend dominate much of her time. Although the action sequences are well written, it’s Mardie’s character development that will hook readers: she’s plenty capable of making mistakes, but just as able to eventually learn from them. It’s standard problem novel material, but Pyron does an admirable job of conveying teenage troubles while generally avoiding the feel of an after-school special, and hits at social issues like racism and homophobia without proselytizing. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Christine Sanderson
At fifteen, Mardie Wolfe cannot get her life under control. Her father sees her as the family screw-up and says she is just like her mother, an unhappy woman who died when Mardie was four. Her perfect brother, Michael, captain of the Lacrosse team, is her total opposite. Her stepmother, Amy, will never be her "real" mom. Searching for acceptance, Mardie hangs with her new friend Megan, smoking and drinking. But when she finds Megan making out with her boyfriend and when the guys at school out Michael, Mardie loses it. "When I try to think of that dark time, all I can remember is pain." She gets caught shoplifting and receives a year's probation. Filled with anger, Mardie begins boxing. She soon learns that while she can release her anger through the sport, boxing is more than just lashing out. Boxing requires a sharp mind, a healthy body, and self-discipline. Through training, Mardie becomes stronger physically and emotionally and begins to change her life. "The road and the whole summer stretch out before me." A coming-of-age novel which uses boxing as a vehicle for personal growth is not a new idea, but the addition of a female protagonist makes the story unique. Well written, with sports scenes realistic enough for athletes but not overly technical, this novel should have wide appeal. Teenage girls will readily identify with Mardie and with her struggle to find herself through sports, even the untraditional sport of women's boxing. Reviewer: Christine Sanderson
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—Missing the dead mother she barely remembers and feeling that she's a disappointment to her father, Mardie, 15, has embarked on a path of self-destruction. She is arrested after getting drunk at a party, is letting her grades slip, and is finally busted for shoplifting. Her salvation is a girls' boxing club that she joins on a whim, but it quickly begins to give focus and purpose to her life. As she gains confidence in her abilities, Mardie learns to accept herself and others. First-time novelist Pyron gets many of the details of high school life right, and Mardie's smart, sassy narration rings true. There may be a few too many story lines what with a boyfriend who's pressuring Mardie for sex, a gay brother whom she outs to their family, a friend who thinks she's pregnant, another friend whose father is deployed to Iraq, a bully who wants to beat her up, and an inspiring disabled child whom Mardie works with at the center where she's doing community service. On balance, though, this solid effort may well attract an enthusiastic, if not overly large, audience.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934813096
  • Publisher: Westside Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 254
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2011


    I started reading this independent novel for my English class. This novel is called The Ring. The author is Bobbie Pyron. The cover to the book is what drew my attention to the book. That reason is because I have never seen a girl in boxing gloves on a cover of a book before. What makes this book different from many others is that it is relatable to young females. I think that young girls that have a hard time at school and in their homes should read this to have them see that they can overcome their problems. The main character is Mardie Wold. She is a 15 year old girl who is trying to meet up to her father's expectations. She goes through mood swings all the time but she takes it all out when she boxes. Their is no set setting in this book. The setting moves around a lot. It goes from her home to her school, and then to the ring. Some good events that happened in the book are very shocking. Mardie finds out a surprising secret about her brother. I don't want to spoile anymore surprises about this novel. Some expert writing that Pyron uses in this book is, Close-Echo effect and stricking verbs. When she uses those kinds of techniques, she tries to make certain things in the book stand out. This book is very engaging and it keeps you on your toes. You never know what Mardie Wolf is going to do.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    Absolutely thrilling

    Who doesn't like to feel strong on the inside? Who doesn't want to be self confident? Sometimes we have to fight for what we feel is right... Even if we have to fight ourselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    Good Read

    Great for teenage girls who are feeling lost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    A Page Turner

    The Ring is a life affirming novel shown through the struggle of friendship, values and the inner spirit. I'm glad I bought a copy of The Ring for my 17 year old God-daughter who faces the opportunity of being an Olympic soccer player.

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