Warrior Angel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sonny Bear is a champion. . .but he needs the help of an angel.

Sonny Bear, the Tomahawk Kid, is on a fast downhill slide with the heavyweight championship at stake. He hardly knows who he is anymore, or why he should keep on fighting.

Then the first e-mail arrives.

Do not lose heart. I come on a Mission ...

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Warrior Angel

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Overview

Sonny Bear is a champion. . .but he needs the help of an angel.

Sonny Bear, the Tomahawk Kid, is on a fast downhill slide with the heavyweight championship at stake. He hardly knows who he is anymore, or why he should keep on fighting.

Then the first e-mail arrives.

Do not lose heart. I come on a Mission from the Creator to save you.

-- Warrior Angel

The Warrior Angel might be just what Sonny Bear needs -- but will Sonny be prepared to save him, too?

Native American boxer of the Moscondaga Nation, Sonny Bear must fight to retain his heavyweight championship title.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In The Contender, The Brave, and The Chief, former sportswriter Robert Lipsyte carved out stories of young boxers struggling against the odds. In Warrior Angel, he returns to the characters and scenes of these award-winning novels. At the center of this riveting comeback story are Sonny Bear, a heavyweight champion trapped in a steady downhill slide, and Starkey, a young man who is determined to save him.
The New York Times
The virtues Lipsyte preaches, however subtly, constitute an ancient creed of honorable masculinity: the learning curve is an arc toward responsibility and discipline. Wise authority figures always offer guidance, and while Lipsyte's mentors never condescend, they're always right. — Simon Rodberg
Publishers Weekly
Popular series unfold in further installments. Robert Lipsyte's many fans will be eager for Warrior Angel, a taut sports adventure in the series begun with The Contender. In this outing, Sonny Bear defends the heavyweight boxing championship he won in The Chief. As usual with Lipsyte, the protagonist struggles at least as much with his psyche as he does in the ring; now his inner conflicts are complicated by his encounters with a mentally ill youth who claims to be on a mission from the creator-to save Sonny. The earlier paperbacks in the series are being repackaged simultaneously with high-gloss photographic covers, to tie in with the look of this new hardcover. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Twenty-year-old Sonny Bear is now the world heavyweight champ, but he's not happy and his life is spinning out of control. As the fourth novel in Lipsyte's "The Contender" series begins, Sonny is preparing for what should be an easy fight in Las Vegas, a warm-up for what will certainly be a more difficult challenge against Floyd "The Wall" Hall, whom Sonny Bear beat to grab the heavyweight title. But the fight is anything but easy, Sonny barely wins and afterwards runs away to escape his corrupt promoter and trainers. An e-mail from someone calling himself "Warrior Angel" brings him back to life and helps him find the strength to return to his roots. He meets Warrior Angel there, who turns out to be Starkey, a teenage boy with severe mental health issues, including voices he hears in his head. Starkey and Sonny seem to be a symbiotic combination. Readers will not only enjoy the excitement and quick pace of the writing, especially the boxing scenes, but will also be intrigued by this new character, the deranged-but-benevolent Starkey. Reading the other three novels in the series will help readers to better understand the supporting characters, many of whom have played major roles in the previous stories. 2003, Harper Collins, 186 pp., Ages young adult.
—Bill Konigsberg
VOYA
Teen readers of The Chief (HarperCollins, 1993/VOYA December 1993) will be pleased to see the return of the same characters. Sonney Bear might be boxing's heavyweight champion, but his championship and all that surrounds him no longer have any meaning. He is numb, sleepwalking through life, and he needs someone to rescue him. His fan Starkey, who thinks of himself as the Warrior Angel, believes that he is just the one to prevent the ruin of Sonny's career. Starkey believes that his mission is to save Sonny from the forces of darkness. After escaping from the hospital where he was being treated for hearing voices, Starkey finds Sonny and guides him down the right path when it comes to training and separating friends from enemies. During the story's tense climax, Sonny proves that he will always be there for Starkey. This fast-paced read with short chapters uses no-nonsense dialogue and description, resulting in a natural choice for reluctant readers. The ending is no happily-ever-after, which teens will appreciate. The events seem real, almost biographical, in this tightly written, well-conceived book. Readers will constantly ask themselves whether Starkey is mentally ill or really an angel. This book is a must for public or school libraries, its appeal particularly for teen boys who enjoy sports. PLB
— David Goodale <%ISBN%>0060004967
KLIATT
To quote from the review in KLIATT, March 2003: In this powerful sequel to The Chief, Native American boxer Sonny Bear has achieved his dream of becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history, but he feels lost and empty. His promoter is exploiting him, and he is estranged from the world. Then he gets an intriguing e-mail from a stranger who calls himself Warrior Angel: "Do not lose heart. I come on a Mission from the Creator to save you." Warrior Angel turns out to be a schizophrenic teenage boy named Starkey, who manages to escape from an institution and his parents and make his way to Sonny. The boy becomes Sonny's assistant trainer and helps him prepare mentally and physically for his next big fight, as well as reconnecting Sonny with people he cares about. But off his medications, the line between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly blurred for Starkey, and in the end Sonny must come to Starkey's rescue. This is a fierce, gripping tale, with convincing sports action and a menacing villain named Cobra. The sympathetic portrait of mental illness will interest YA readers, too. It's not necessary to have read the other volumes about Sonny (The Contender, The Brave, and The Chief) to enjoy this one, though Sonny's fans will be eager to continue following his saga. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, HarperTrophy, 183p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Sonny Bear, the youngest fighter ever to win a heavyweight boxing crown, is in trouble. Despite barely winning his last bout, his promoter immediately announces that he will defend his title against a formidable opponent. Clearly, the champ is not physically or emotionally ready for the match. Sonny always seems to be running away, from the reservation and his Native American heritage, from the people who want to control his life, and from his true friends. Starkey, a self-described Warrior Angel, is convinced he is the only person who can help Sonny. Unfortunately, Starkey is in a group home for emotionally disturbed youth, and needs to find a way to get to "The Tomahawk Kid" before it's too late. This thought-provoking, suspenseful, psychological sports thriller makes readers feel as though they are inside the minds of the protagonists. However, some teens may be initially confused when the chapters switch from Sonny's viewpoint to Starkey's, and may have even more difficulty when Starkey begins hearing voices in his head. Many characters from The Contender (1967), The Brave (1993), and The Chief (1995, all HarperCollins) make appearances in this novel and readers who have read at least one of those books will have an easier time sorting out the supporting cast. Lipsyte effectively keeps the action flowing through Sonny's boxing sequences and Starkey's fights with his demons and struggle to complete his Mission in time. The author pulls no punches with the raw, real-life language. This book, along with the earlier titles, will be an easy sell to many teens, especially those enamored with the sports world.-Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sonny Bear fights like a zombie, throwing punches as if he's underwater. He's the heavyweight champion, but he feels lost, drugged, and hollow. He wins the bout that opens the story with a split decision, hardly looking like a champion, not even sure what he is doing out there. He has run from the Reservation, cynical about the Moscondaga Nation, but only feels accepted by whites because he's a champ. Now he's "the Tomahawk Kid, the Natural Man, the Native Son" and faces an existential crisis: "Shove that tired old Redskin crap, I'm not anything anymore. Not Indian, not white. Leave me alone. I'm not anywhere." In a parallel narrative, Starkey, the self-appointed Warrior Angel with a Mission for the Creator, escapes his group home to save Sonny's soul and prepare him to defend his title against Floyd (The Wall) Hall. Starkey seems mentally ill but gives Sonny what he needs: a return to Donatelli's Gym, old friends, and a strict training regimen. In this conclusion to his boxing saga first begun with The Contender over 35 years ago and nearly 10 years since The Chief, Lipsyte demonstrates his sportswriter's gift of muscular prose and vivid detail. Sonny looks down on the Vegas strip and thinks it looked "like all the crayons in the world melted into a dazzling river." When Sonny goes out for a run, Starkey follows on bike, "squeaking along a slalom course of garbage and broken bottles and ruptured concrete on the fifteen blocks down to Central Park." With a swift plot, exciting boxing scenes, the mysterious, unstable character of Starkey, and life lessons drawn from boxing, this will appeal to fans of sports novels and all enthusiasts of good writing regardless of genre. The long wait hasbeen worth it. (Fiction. 12+)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Lipsyte cannily teases the action along. Readers will be rapt at ringside ’til the decision is called.”
ALA Booklist
“Lipsyte’s combination of gritty emotional realism and vivid descriptions of boxing action makes this fast-paced story a gripping read.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Lipsyte cannily teases the action along. Readers will be rapt at ringside ’til the decision is called."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Lipsyte cannily teases the action along. Readers will be rapt at ringside ’til the decision is called.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Lipsyte cannily teases the action along. Readers will be rapt at ringside ’til the decision is called.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061997334
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 879,472
  • Age range: 13 years
  • File size: 397 KB

Meet the Author

Robert Lipsyte

Robert Lipsyte was an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the Emmy-winning host of the nightly public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of twelve acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in Manhattan and on Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, Lois, and his dog, Milo.

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