Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)” as Want to Read:
Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers #1-3)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,087 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
From the bestselling author of THE BOOK THIEF

Before THE BOOK THIEF, Markus Zusak wrote a trilogy of novels about the Wolfe Brothers: THE UNDERDOG, FIGHTING RUBEN WOLFE, and GETTING THE GIRL. Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are champions at getting into fights, coming up with half-baked schemes, and generally disappointing girls, their parents, and their much more motivated older s
Hardcover, 501 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Scholastic, Inc.
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Underdogs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Underdogs

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 31, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it
Markus Zusak is arguably one of the best contemporary YA authors, as evidenced by his internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Book Thief. It was a pleasure to read this trilogy as it chronicles the first three works of the author before his literary fame.

The Underdog is the shortest story of the three, and while lacking in some aspects it is an intriguing first act of Underdogs trilogy and whets the reader’s appetite for a taste of the resilient Wolfe Family. Fighting Ruben Wolfe delves deepl
Dawn Teresa
Jan 01, 2014 Dawn Teresa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
Originally posted on my blog, Read Love

The Book Thief was no fluke. It was the culmination of years of work and growth from a gifted writer. When I began reading the first book in Underdogs, fearful that it would prove to be vastly inferior to The Book Thief (one of my all-time favorite books), I found real and rapid assurance that the hand that authored that masterpiece also wrote these words. In The Underdog, originally published in 1999 (and his first work), Markus Zusak's talent and unique s
Jan 18, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing

I know THE BOOK THIEF is the one that all kiddies rave about, and don't get me wrong: that is a brilliant book and I love it. But then I discovered GETTING THE GIRL, which led me to find FIGHTING RUBEN WOLFE, which brings us here, to the first US publication of THE UNDERDOG, contained in this omnibus of all three Wolfe brothers books. If you don't, from the first chapter of THE UNDERDOG (or any of the other two, really), fall madly in love with the endearingly awkward and yet strange
Sep 24, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Come on, people, this is Zusak we're talking about and while, yes, I love his entirely unique writing style, I adore his beautifully honest stories with their sweet messages even more. This little story doesn't have some huge event or a climactic ending, it doesn't have some whirling plot that keeps us turning pages but will be forgotten not long after the last page is read. It's about life, and the lessons we can glean from it. Sure, Cameron couldn't talk to girls and Ruben and he were pretty u ...more
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
Oct 21, 2011 Heidi (Yup. Still here.) rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-that-rocks
I am not afraid. I will admit it. I have a new book crush. His name is Cameron. He is geeky and shy and he has a heart of gold. What is not to love? I will add that in the intro Mr. Zuzak admitted he is Cameron so by default I guess my crush also carries to him (Who are we kidding... I love Markus too. I mean who can resist an accent?)

What is it about Aussie writers? Even in their earlier books that are not as polished (such as this one) they have you laughing one minute and wanting to bawl you
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I finished this at last! And over all, I really enjoyed it. The first book of the anthology was a bit rough and uneventful, but I thought the second and third books were a lot better, and I could definitely see Markus Zusak's writing improve over the course of the trilogy. There were times when I thought the style (especially the dialogue) got kind of pretentious/annoying, but for the most part I loved the way they were written. And by the end I felt very attached to the Wolfe family and felt li ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Eden rated it liked it
The first thing to note is that this is an omnibus of The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl. The second thing to note is that they're Markus Zusak's very first novels. The writing style we all loved in The Book Thief didn't just spring magically from a first effort, and Underdogs is definitely representative of the journey this author's writing grew through.

The biggest issue with The Underdog is that it's plot-less. This leaves it all up to Cameron to capture our interest, whic
Aug 16, 2011 Marija rated it it was amazing
On TCM there’s a segment where Peter O’Toole reflects upon his experiences working with David Lean in Lawrence of Arabia. O’Toole remembers one particular scene where Lean asks him to complete five minutes of mime for the scene where Lawrence tries on, for the first time, that white robe in the desert. Not knowing what to do, O’Toole thinks about it, and then remembers the dagger he has sheathed on his waist. As the film starts rolling, O’Toole uses the dagger as a mirror to look at himself and ...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Aug 04, 2012 Jillian -always aspiring- marked it as to-read-someday
All three books in one volume? YES!!!
Oct 01, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction, arc
I don’t know what it is with me and omnibuses… omnibusseses… omnibi? Anything that’s packaged as a complete set, be it made up of novels or comics, tends to attract my attention these days. This particular omnibus appeared to me out of nowhere, and didn’t do anything for me at first. Somewhere between when I started it and when I finished it, though, it crept up on me and became one of my favorite recent reads. It’s a meandering, quirky coming-of-age story that is funny and heartbreaking by turn ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Ken rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2011
G'day, mates. This here's the story of Cameron Wolfe. OK, THREE stories of Cameron Wolfe. Once upon a time they were little known novels by a little known YA writer from Down Under. Title of the books? The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. Title of the author? Markus Zusak. Reason that sounds familiar? The Book Thief.

And that's the reason Scholastic has put together these three books -- Zusak's sensational success with the Holocaust sleeper, The Book Thief. Some of the books
Jan 29, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Underdogs is an omnibus volume of Markus Zusak;s three novels about the Wolfe brothers, Ruben and young narrator Cameron.

The first novel - The Underdog - is noticeably the weakest of the three, and was in fact Zusak's first novel. There's really little to say about it, except that so little happens in it that I am a bit surprised that it was even published. It basically sets the stage for the two novels that follow.

But it is followed by Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and that is a horse of another (extr
Apr 30, 2014 George rated it it was amazing
Would want to be a fighter? This book is a story about two brothers that always get into fights. They're not that close with their other siblings but themselves. One day a street boxing promotor heard about Ruben Wolfe beating up a guy in school for calling his sister inappropriate names. When the promotor talked with Ruben to get him to fight, Ruben also told him about his brother Cameron Wolfe that he should fight too. Ruben starts taking this seriously because he wants to be a fighter even th ...more
Jen Scott
Feb 21, 2012 Jen Scott rated it really liked it
I'm going to do a three part review for this book, because I read all three novels at different times. The first one is for Underdog: Out of all of the Markus Zusak books I've read, this one was my least favorite. I felt like it didn't have as much direction as his other books, and there was no "wow" factor for me. But, nevertheless, this is Markus Zusak we're talking about, and he is a beautiful writer, so I enjoyed reading it.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe: I had the awesome experience of reading this t
Dec 07, 2014 Hemant rated it liked it
I could relate to this story right from the beginning. Though the main character is 15, the things he is going through right now sort of relate to any average teenager (love, relationships etc). I really like how the story talks about the main character (Cameron)'s brother and how they are still having fun together even after they have fights and arguments (that was mostly what related to me). This book is good for people who want to know what it is like going through a teen's life but it goes i ...more
Tanya Nekrasova
Sep 25, 2015 Tanya Nekrasova rated it it was amazing
Это история про :

миссис Вульф
мистера Вульфа

про поиски себя
про голод
про дружбу
про семью
про любовь

—Ты можешь утонуть во мне, когда захочешь, Кэмерон,— сказала она и, как тогда, прикоснулась губами к моим губам и плавно потекла через мой рот. Листки оставались у меня в руках, прижатые к ее бедрам, и я чувствовал, как, нависнув сверху, она вдыхает меня.

Мистера Зусака и его героев не возможно не любить. Пишет Зусак красиво, просто и трогательно. Книгу можно разобрать
Jun 09, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, Zusak is a genius at writing and that was the main force to keep me reading. Out of the three books I liked the third one the most. However, the more I read the more meaningful and different the book became. My actual rating is 3.5. If you're a fan of the book thief and/or the messenger then you may want more Zusak in his beginning years. Warning: Peculiar, but worthy
Maureen E
Nov 01, 2011 Maureen E rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
All three Wolfe novels. The last, Getting the Girl is by far my favorite, though the tidiness of the resolution bothered me just a little. But I was invested enough in Cameron at that point to not really mind. [Oct. 2011]
Deb Stern
Mar 30, 2016 Deb Stern rated it really liked it
I could have counted this as three separate books, as they were written. However, to really feel the full effect, this needs to read as one continuous novel. Zusak speaks of layers from life experiences and every one of his books shows pieces of his layers. Audible version really good.
Sep 02, 2013 Phrynne rated it liked it
A very short, simple little book but it shows that Marcus Zusak has what it takes to be a really good author and later he proved this with The Book Thief. Underdogs is not really my kind of book but I enjoyed it for what it was.
Jan 22, 2017 Lora rated it really liked it
Markus Zusak is a poet for boxers, and people who live. I am so jealous. And so happy he writes. And so ready for another of his musings...
May 22, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Markus Zusak has earned a place at the top of my list of favorite authors. If you haven't read The Book Thief, do. Read my review of it first though--I think you should know some things before you start. Read I am the Messenger too.

Once you've read those, you're going to want more Markus Zusak--at least I did. Luckily I discovered Underdogs. It is a compilation of the first three books Zusak published. Originally published in his native Australia, they have only recently become available to rea
Relebohile Ntshingila
Oct 18, 2016 Relebohile Ntshingila rated it really liked it
Actual rating is 3.5 Stars.
Hazel West
Aug 04, 2015 Hazel West rated it really liked it
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I decided to just review this addition so I can review all three books together in order to compare them. They were, of course, brother stories, and that always makes me enjoy things so much more and I really did love reading about the Wolfe brothers.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Meh, it's okay. Nothing really special, but I do like silhouettes as opposed to character impersonators.

Characters: These are definitely character driven stories, so having good characters is very im
Albert Riehle
May 02, 2013 Albert Riehle rated it really liked it
This is an omnibus edition of the 3 continuous books in the Cameron Wolfe series and as an omnibus I'm giving it 4 stars because I have to judge it all together. It's worth noting that if there were half-stars I'd give it 4.5 though. It's also worth noting that the last two books, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl are definite 5 star works. It's the first book, Underdog that brings the rating down. And Underdog isn't bad. It's simply a first book and it's not as good as the other two. It ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s, male-pov
This is a book boys everywhere are sure to enjoy. It's filled with lots of boyish things like hair brained schemes that go awry, girls, blood, guts, girls, mysterious smells, action, girls, fighting, and did I mention girls? There's talking about girls, thinking about girls, writing about girls, girls, girls, girls! So it's not all about girls but hey, that's what occupies a teen boy's mind 24/7 pretty much. The main difference between Cameron Wolfe and his brother Ruben is, Cameron wants to fin ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I have yet to read The Book Thief, which has been highly recommended to me numerous times, so this is my first time reading Markus's work. Being that Underdogs, a collection of three stories following the Wolfe Brothers (The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl), is Markus's first writing, I can only imagine how brilliantly written The Book Thief is. It's not that these books were bad, because they weren't, they were good reads. Overall this collection show cases how Markus's writ ...more
Bethany Miller
Dec 21, 2011 Bethany Miller rated it liked it
Shelves: royal-november
Underdogs includes Zusak’s first three novels: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. Cameron Wolfe is the main character and narrator of all three. The Underdog introduces Cam and the Wolfe family: Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe – Cam’s overworked parents, Ruben – Cam’s brother and best friend, Steve – his successful older brother who considers Cam and Ruben losers and Sarah – his loving but flighty older sister. Cam is the perpetual underdog especially when it comes to girls. He meets a ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing

*This is an omnibus edition.* I am going to break this up into sections.
The first book of the trilogy, The Underdog, can only be described as an adolescent boy coming of age story. Cameron Wolfe is an introverted boy on a journey of self discovery. Through his dreams and nightmares a battle is told and with his own observations his insights become teaching tools. He starts to wonder and care what others judgments are of him and if they are justified. Through it all he feels painfully alone.
All I
Jan 02, 2014 Trimble rated it really liked it
Underdogs is a compilation of a three book series called "Wolfe Brothers". It includes The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl.

The Underdog is the story of a typical 15 year-old teenage boy, Cameron, who lives with his parents, two brothers, and sister. It's summer and Cameron and his brother, Ruben, spend most of their time together just hanging out and are frequently planning something naughty. Whether or not they follow through with those plans is another story. Zusak provide
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Saving Kabul Corner
  • The Waters of Iwingee (Book 1)
  • All of the Above
  • Dangerously Placed
  • Alaska
  • My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
  • Project X-Calibur
  • An Army of Frogs (Kulipari #1)
  • Friendship on Fire
  • New Music (The Art of Lainey, #1.5)
  • How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel
  • Dream On, Amber
  • Escape from Shadow Island (Max Cassidy, #1)
  • The Death Catchers
  • A Pocketful of Eyes
  • Being Here
  • Yellowcake
  • The Winds of Heaven
Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there to this day.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (al
More about Markus Zusak...

Other Books in the Series

Wolfe Brothers (3 books)
  • Underdog (Wolfe Brothers, #1)
  • Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers, #2)
  • Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3)

Share This Book

“Very quickly, very suddenly, words fell through my mind. They landed on the floor of my thoughts, an in there, down there, I started to pick the words up. They were excerpts of truth gathered from inside me.
Even in the night, in bed, they woke me.
They painted themselves onto the ceiling.
They burned themselves onto the sheets of memory laid out in my mind.
When I woke up the next day, I wrote the words down , on a torn-up piece of paper. And to me, the world changed color that morning.”
“Steve, on the other hand, has plenty of friends, but he wouldn't bleed for any of them, because he wouldn't trust them to bleed for him. In that way he's just as alone as me.” 2 likes
More quotes…