Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fighting Ruben Wolfe” as Want to Read:
Fighting Ruben Wolfe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers #2)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,053 ratings  ·  201 reviews
It's the difference between being a winner and being a fighter...

Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are brothers from a family clinging to the ragged edge of the working class. Initially to make some money, the boys hook up with a sleazy fight promoter who sees something marketable and audience-pleasing in the untrained brothers' vulnerability.

So they hide the boxing from their long-
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published 2001 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published April 1st 2000)
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 Fighting Ruben Wolfe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fighting Ruben Wolfe

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
So, I'm convinced that Markus Zusak could write an entire novel about mashed potatoes or asphalt and it would be brilliant. I also know that there is surely no other writer on the planet that could make me give a book about two boxing brothers 5 stars and hate that I've finished it so quickly!

This book is about two things that I know very little about.

Brothers & Boxing.

So, I thought maybe I'd sort of float through it. Large font, little over 200 pages... an overnight shift... no biggie.


Markus, I'm sorry I gave you such little credit. What was I thinking? I'd read I Am the Messenger. I bawled over The Book Thief. So, why was I so surprised by this? Maybe because I didn't want to believe that someone so young could deliver like this from the get-go.

Again, sorry about tha

Or rather, I have just read y' and I love y'.


Before I even read the book, I decided this cover was perfect and ordered it from a UK seller. Colored hoodies FTW.
While not his best work, by the end Zusak found that prose I so love and the characters became the ones I love in Getting the Girl. It gave me my Zusak fix.
Shirley Marr
I enjoyed Markus Zusak's first novel The Underdog sufficiently enough to give this sequel, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, a go. I liked The Underdog. I love Fighting Ruben Wolfe! What a difference one novel makes. The Underdog was strong in character, prose and theme, but Fighting Ruben Wolfe ups the ante with a stronger structure and a fully realised plot. This gritty, feelgood novel about two boxing brothers and a family of "battlers" made me glow on the inside and want to laugh, cry and smile maniacal ...more

I love this book. I have more things to say over here
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
So I'm still making my way through Underdogs (which is a collection of all three books in this series), and I plan on writing a review of the trilogy as a whole once I'm done (which I will link to in this review, once I've done that).

I finished Fighting Ruben Wolfe yesterday, which is the second book in the series, and I thought it was a big improvement in comparison to book one. While book one was well-written and still kept me interested, it didn't have a lot going on in terms of plot or confl
adri patamoma
são pouquíssimas as vezes em que, ao ler algo, penso: 'puxa vida, queria escrever assim'! mas é exatamente isso que acontece quando leio algo do zusak. ele sabe contar uma história como ninguém, e tem umas sacadas muito geniais sobre como abordar os assuntos, os acontecimentos, e os personagens. adoro sempre! preciso reler outros livros dele, aliás! é sempre uma delícia ler as coisas do markus. este livro só não ganha 5 estrelas porque é curtinho demais -- não deu pra chegar nem perto de satisfa ...more
Audrey (holes In My brain)
I picked this book up because of the author, Markus Zusak, who wrote The Book Thief, which is written incredibly well.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe is above all, a story of brothers. Cameron Wolfe is the younger, shy boy with all the heart and cares about everything. He loves his brother, he's tough like a survivor, he'll get back up after getting beat down. Ruben Wolfe is the tough one, the one doing the beating up, the one with a perfect record, who can drop anyone. The bond of brotherhood between them
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
The fantastic Mr. Zusak is back, with a long-awaited UK reprint of his early novel Fighting Ruben Wolfe, which was first published in Australia in the year 2000. It's not quite in the same league as The Book Thief, but his excellent writing and characterisation still shines through in true Zusak style.

Brothers Cameron and Ruben Wolfe head up this gritty tale of family and fighting, and show just what determination and a sense of pride can achieve. When their father loses his job and starts strug
"Fighting Ruben Wolfe" is a story of two brothers who struggle to fight for their family, pride, and identity. The Wolfe brothers, Rube and Cameron, are fed up with their life's struggles. Their father has been physically damaged, and he is out of a job. Rube and Cameron are determined to find a way to support their family. When the two meet a fight promoter, they are told they can make extra money by fighting in boxing matches. But the matches are the toughest thing the two brothers have faced. ...more
Zusak never dissapoints me, there is something about his work that makes feel free. His books are wild and young and reckless. It is magic! His writing is simple but filled with feelings you couldnt really try and describe, yet he does an excellent job. When I read his books, specially Fighting Ruben Wolfe, I feel like Everything is perfect!, I mean, yeah, those boys theirselves are not perfect and the book proves that life itself is not perfect but that doesnt really matter. It is everything wh ...more
"She smiles pretty, and in that split second, I forget. I forget about Perry Cole and all those future punches. It makes me wonder, Do we spend most of our days trying to remember or forget things? Do we spend most of our time running toward or away from our lives? I don't know."

So wonders Cameron Wolfe, the big-hearted, tender protagonist of Fighting Ruben Wolfe. Passages like the one above--full of a quiet sort of wisdom, almost a ache to it--aren't uncommon in this book. They're plentiful, si
Sara ♥
I liked the book quite a lot. Probably in the 3.5 star range. I didn't bump it up to 4 stars because it just didn't draw me in like I Am the Messenger did. Maybe it's not fair to compare the two, since this was Markus Zusak's first book (meaning that it makes sense that the later books would be better), but there it is!

I think the book was just... too short! It felt like a flushed-out outline. The storyline was there, but it was missing substance... I wanted more details about the boys... more i
Daniel Taylor
A few years back, I saw Markus Zusak speak at Adelaide Writer's Week. He was so likeable that I desperately wanted to like this book, the first of his I've read. At first his style grated, but by 50 pages in I loved it. The book finished with a punch.
If you haven't read the first book of the series, I highly suggest you read it NOW.
It's actually not a big deal, this book stands fine on its own.

Zusak has integrated the things that were perfect in the first book (characters, writing style, word choice, etc) and also shaped the imperfect things into more beautiful creations: mainly, the plot.

There actually is a solid plot in this book.
Another thing?
the book is even more metaphorical and symbolic than the first book. If that's even possible.

Dec 28, 2008 Kevin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Markus Zusak
Recommended to Kevin by: The Book Thief
I read this because I was so amazed with The Book Thief. Was I "so amazed" with Fighting Ruben Wolfe? No.

It was a good book. I liked it. But I wasn't so amazed. I read the book in about 3 days, but it reads fast enough that it could be done in a 3 hour sitting. I don't feel like the story was evolved enough. I never got to know the characters well enough to care about their fighting. It almost just feels like Zusak walked in with a 400 page book, and was told to cut 200 pages out of it.

It's no
This is my favourite book in the world. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read and it completely sidesteps all the things I normally enjoy in a book (it doesn’t even pass the Bechdel test), but it’s one of those books that I found at exactly the right time in my life. I was twelve when I first read it and I’ve read it at least once a year since, frequently more. It was the book I reread the night before I left for university and the night before I flew to America for a year because it was the bes ...more
This is the second book in the Wolfe Brothers series. I think the writing is tighter than in The Underdog. Their father is out of work due to an on-the-job injury and the boys see their family struggling. They are teens searching for their place within their family and in the world. When Rube gets in a fight to defend his older sister's honor, his success draws the attention of a shady character named Perry who involves them in illegal boxing matches for money. Rube is hugely successful, earning ...more
Zusak's writing, as usual, is beautiful perfection. I almost didn't read this one... Judging a book by its cover... But I'm so glad I did! I never thought a book about fighting would make me laugh out loud and cry like a baby. But it really hit home for me, as a mom of 2 boys, I hope my boys share the love and brotherly loyalty that the Wolfe boys did. Loved this book!
This is a strange little book that I listened to from Apparently it is one of Zusak's earlier books. Having read I Am The Messenger and The Book Thief, I took a chance. It took a while, but eventually the journey of these two brothers became interesting. They come from a home where the father is out of work and the mother is holding it together; the sister is coming home drunk and losing her self worth. The brothers are brought into a fight club and you begin to see what they are re ...more
I didn't think I would be very interested in reading a book about boxing, but I think Markus Zusak could write about any subject and I'd love it. His writing in this book was very poetic. I didn't realize I had picked up the second book first, but it worked well as a stand-alone novel. It is a quick read and a lovely story about brothers and families.
As a massive "Book Thief" fan, I was looking forward to reading one of Zusak's earlier books. I was disappointed in Fighting Rube Wolfe. Although Zusak's customary free-flowing language is spot-on again and glides you through the book, I found it as a story unoriginal and cliched.
This was my favorite of the three Wolfe brothers series. It was teenage angst with more outward compassion for others than I usually see in books about teenagers. I must admit my favorite character is Miffy the dog.
As a new high school librarian in 2003, this was one of my favorite and first books to read. This book started me as a Markus Zusak fan. In re-reading it again for the 2014 Hub Challenge, this book of two Australian brothers who fight to make money to help out their father with his finances is still a winner of family dysfunction, sibling rivalry, and the tough life of the Wolfe brothers. Ruben is a natural at fighting, wins all the girls, and has no fear. Cameron, the younger brother, is sensit ...more
Eliana Olivera
4.5 No se, me encariñe tanto con Cam.

“It's funny, don't you think, how time seems to do a lot of things? It flies, it tells, and worst of all, it runs out.”
Donna Siebold
Ruben and Cameron Wolfe go into boxing, in part, to earn money to help their financially strapped family. But finances are just one of the reasons they start fighting. Ruben is a natural, he goes into the ring sure he cannot be beaten. Cameron has heart, you can knock him down, but he will always get up and keep on fighting. It turns out they don't use their earnings to help their family and Cameron begins questioning all of Ruben's motives for fighting. He seems to be changing markedly. The tit ...more
This goes to show that Zusak can write a book on bloody well anything, and it'll be superb.
Two urban poor white Sydney boys take to boxing for cash to help the family get through.
The idea of the Wolfe-pack biting through together is good - and sometimes belaboured. This, in fact, describes the book and Zusak's writing style quite adequately: good and sometimes belaboured. The sentences often fly in like so many (too many?) jabs but/and there is a good number of really admirable punches ("My heart is heavy and hurting, and out there somewhere, I can imagine the pain of a beaten dog.",
**Review originally posted on my blog.**

The book cover and title already depict what the story would be about. To be honest, I dislike boxing and by the looks of the book at first glance, I’m anxious that I might end up disliking the story as well. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to connect with the characters, knowing that fighting centers the plot.

But of course, I’m glad I have given this book the benefit of the doubt. And since it’s written by Markus Zusak, it has given me more confidence tha
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2014 Hub Reading ...: Fighting Rubrn Wolfe 1 4 Jun 22, 2014 06:41PM  
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Creepy and Maud
  • Brown Skin Blue
  • New Guinea Moon
  • Her Father's Daughter
  • The Amber Amulet
  • Friday Brown
  • Wildlife
  • The Shiny Guys
  • Talking In The Dark : A Poetry Memoir
  • End of the Alphabet
  • Whisper
  • Only Ever Always
  • The Zigzag Effect
  • Alex As Well
  • A Bridge To Wiseman's Cove
  • The Whole of My World
  • The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley
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 a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe
More about Markus Zusak...
The Book Thief I Am the Messenger Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3) Underdog (Wolfe Brothers, #1) Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)

Share This Book

“It's funny, don't you think, how time seems to do a lot of things? It flies, it tells, and worst of all, it runs out.” 96 likes
“Do we spend most of our days trying to remember or to forget? Do we spend most of our time running towards or away from our lives?” 56 likes
More quotes…