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The Contender (The Contender #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  2,796 ratings  ·  390 reviews
This is a sports fiction novel that tells a story of Alfred Brooks, a seventeen-year-old high school drop-out, living in Harlem, finding his way in the world and in boxing. Alfred learns that getting to the top is not as important as how you get there, and that before you can be a champion, you have to be a contender with the will to get back on your feet after you have be ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Narayan Neupane
(by Narayan Neupane) Date(Jan-8-11)

I found this book on ms. nelson class. That was my reading ESL class. when I saw the cover of the book, I saw one guys with wearing a boxer gloves that make me to read. When I saw that I think that could be the best book. Also I though that I can get some lesson from that book so that is why I like this book and I think that this book will be also hard but when I read I am interested on this book. I am interested to know something and I start to read.

"The Cont
...more
Amy Rae
Holy shit. This one disappeared on me even faster than The Outsiders did. It really does pair well, just as the roommate suggested. (Lee read them, one after another, back in middle school English.) And it was a fun one to pick up, because I had literally never heard of it before. I like to think that I'm pretty well-informed on the history of children's and teen lit, but this one had never before crossed my path.

More's the pity, too, because it is a fantastic little book. People who know me wel
...more
Jeremy
This is an amazing book; I was intrigued from the very beginning of this novel. I would recommend this book to anybody that loves fighting and underdog stories. I think the authors intention to writing this book was to encourage young men that are living in the hood that and to let them know they don’t have to be bad like everybody else around them and with hard work they can really do something with their life. My favorite character was definitely the main character, Alfred Brooks, I felt like ...more
Jacob
This book was a really great example of how hard work and dedication can really get you a long way. This book takes place in Harlem, New York in the middle of the twentieth century. The main character of this book is a seventeen year old boy who's an orphan living with his aunt and nieces. Alfred works at a store during the day, and trains to be a boxer in the morning. At one point in the story, he gets himself caught up with a gang that he's had some history with in the past. After these incid ...more
Megan Dickinson
I don't really like this book; it doesn't make any sense. It's not my type of book. Can we read a different/better book next time? The ending didn't make sense, Alfred just walked away into the sunshine with a guy who ditched him for bullies for the whole entire book and gives up his boxing career for James. James doesn't do anything for Albert except to give him trouble. Then, Albert forgives James which I don't think he should have done; if I were him, I would have taken him to the police, I w ...more
Jackson M
The book the “The Contender” by Robert Lipstye was a decent book. I would recommend this book to my friend because it is a high paced book and its about sports. This book wasn’t amazing but it was pretty good that is why I rated it a four out of five. The Contender was about a highschool drop-out named Alfred Brooks. He lived in Harlem with his aunt and also he works part time at a grocery store. Alfred’s bestfriend got addicted to drugs and started to hang around with punks, therefore Alfred is ...more
Matt Smith
This summer I was told i had to read a book. this book was about a black boy, and the boy was going down the rong path. His friend was doing bad things and he got put in jail. So to prevent him to go to jail he started to box.

The summery of the book is that two boys were starting to get in trouble so one boy started to do good and he started to box but the other boy was still doing bad things so that kid went to jail. the boy that started to box was training all day every day but after a few wee
...more
Alice (Farewell, Office)
As an adult who mainly reads books written for an older audience, I am conditioned to books with well-developed, 3-dimensional characters and multiple subplots. In contrast, this book is rather simplistic. The main character, Alfred Brooks, is mostly a 2-dimensional character who also happens to be dynamic. Characters who undergo changes in personality and beliefs tend to be more well-rounded and finding a flat, but dynamic character can be fairly rare. However, this is exactly what Lipsyte has ...more
Seth Singer
In the novel The Contender, a boy named Alfred Brooks lives with his aunt, and drops out of high school so he can work full time at the grocery store where he works. Alfred's aunt, in the book called Aunt Pearl, takes care of Alfred after he lost both of his parents. Alfred's best friend, James, loses his relationship with Alfred after he is arrested and gets addicted to drugs. Mr. Donatelli is the owner of a gym that Alfred joins to box when he decides that he wants to find meaning in his life. ...more
Bryan Cook
Although I HAD to read a book this summer, I think this was the book to choose. My opinion for The Contender is that it is a great book. It kept me interested the entire time I was reading it. The main character, Alfred Brooks, is a high school dropout that wasnts to learn how to box. He ends up going to a gym where Mr. Donatelli and other boxers and trainers teach him how to box. His childhood friend, James, ends up geetting in with the wrong crowd and gets into drugs and trouble with the polic ...more
Zach Longacre
This book is about Alfred Brooks. He is a high school drop-out who is working at a grocery store. His best friend James, who is battling drug addictions, tries to break into the grocery store after hours and gets put in jail. Alfred is not looking for a purpose in life, and decides to join Donatelli's Gym. He made this decision when he walked past it one night after thinking about his future. After meeting Mr. Donatelli, Alfred gets a strict work out plan and diet which he struggles through.

I li
...more
Frankie Lopez
The Contender by Robert Lipsyte, is one of my favorite books that I have read because it deals with real life situations, and a struggle to fight an addiction. If you like a book that is slow paced with great meaning and life lessens, then this is the book for you. This not only touches your heart but it relates to you in many ways.It consists of a young adult that gets wrapped up with the wrong people and getting evolved in bad situations. He struggles to fight the addiction of drugs and of pe ...more
Trevor
The Contender is the story of Alfred Brooks, a 17-year-old African-American high school dropout who is torn between the street life of his Harlem neighborhood, and his dreams of becoming a champion boxer. He lives with his aunt pearl and her 3 daughters. Alfred goes through rigorous training as he struggles to improve himself and overcome his doubts of his ability. I believe that boxing is a way for him to prove to himself that he has the heart of a contender in the boxing ring and in life even ...more
Nate Porteus
This was a great book. It's not too long and it reads pretty fast. It's almost a guarantee that you'll get sucked in after the first few minutes and won't want to put it back down. It teaches a great moral lesson set to a powerful story. This is worth reading for wrestlers or other athletes.
Parker Boelling
This book was about a kid named Alfred. He has no parents and is just trying to find his way in life. He hangs out with the bad crowed, but the streets are all he knows. Alfred starts to realize the streets are not a good place. He figures out that he needs to get away from the bad crowed and do something good with his life. He starts to box as a hobby. It turns into an all the time thing and it is all he does. Will boxing pay off for Alfred? Read the book and find out. I think this book is alri ...more
Jenny Brown
If you get Bob Lipsyte talking about how The Contender came to be, he will tell you that the seed was planted when he took a man named Cus D’Amato out to dinner, shortly before he covered a boxing match in 1964 in Miami. Lipsyte would later go on to be a sports columnist for the New York Times, but in 1964 he was a cub reporter sent to cover the fight between Sonny Lipton and a new kid whom everyone thought would get knocked out in the first round, Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali).

Ful
...more
Ryan Damour
Goodreads Critique-The Contender

The book, The Contender by Robert Lipsyte is about Alfred Brooks, an African American boy from Harlem, NY. He dropped out of high school, he works as a boring grocery store clerk, and his best friend started hanging out with bad people. The people his friend has befriended are after Alfred for nothing. Looking for something to help him in this bad time, Alfred starts going to Donatelli’s Gym, a renowned boxing club that has trained champions.
This story can rela
...more
Malik Hughes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shakale Moore
The Contender
Book Review By Shakale Moore
4-13-15

I was at school and their was this big tall guy that like to go around in pick on people to fight. And he always tried to fight the little boy. So one day the little boy got mad he was already having a day and he went crazy and swang on the big guy and got to beating him up. In the book ‘’The Contender’’ Robert Lipsyte is saying that if you are good at doing something don't take it to the extreme and take advantage and pick on people because that
...more
Estevan Alvarez
In his 1967 novel The Contender, Robert Lipsyte tells a story of Alfred Brooks and his boxing career. Alfred Brooks is a seventeen year old high school dropout, he lives with his Aunt and her three daughters in Harlem, New York. His mom died when he was thirteen, Alfred's dad left his family when Alfred was only ten. Alfred joins Mr. Donatelli's gym and starts learning how to box. After a while Alfred gets tired of boxing and finds himself drinking and doing drugs. Throughout the novel, Robert i ...more
Nima Borhani
In the book The Contender, The is about a 17 year old boy who dropped out of high school by the name of Alfred. At a very young age, he lost his dad and mom, but his best friend James always supported him, but then James started doing drugs and other bad things. I disagree with the opinions of the author because Robert Lipsyte makes one of the characters say that you shouldn't aim for the champion spot, you should aim for the place before that, the contender, the person who is willing to risk an ...more
Dallas Hunt
i really enjoyed it. It was inspiring for me because i play sports as well
what i like most about the book is that he stayed in the gym he didnt goto the bad streets
of harlem and he was caring he tried to sace his friend from going down the bad side but he
did the best he could




my second favorite part is that he stayed dedicated to boxing no matter what the bad part
i dont like was when the thugs tried to get him to break in a store but he couldnt do it
and also when he got into a car of the thu
...more
7703Emil
The Contender, By Robert Lipyte, is a book that takes place in Harlem, in the times of segregation. Alfred Brooks is a grocery worker, but is tired of that and wants to be a boxer. With proper training, he actually has some professional fights. If you like books with sports, hard times, and friend problems, this book is great as a good read
Diannar
The contender is about a teenage drop out, who was in a gang and gets out of it. He goes into boxing, and wants to be a Champaign. But what he doesn't know that it takes a lot of hard work to be a winner and reach to the top. He always wanted to give up, just quit all of what he's learn but always reminds himself about what he wants.
Nicholas
This a story about high school dropout Alfred Brooks living a tough life. His old best friend James doing drugs, breaking into stores and always hanging out with Major, Sonny, and Hollis the really mean ones. Now Alfred is working at a grocery store. And now Major, James, Sonny, and Hollis are going to break into the grocery store and Alfred knows but he didn't tell them about the silent alarm. So know his best friend is in jail, he has tree guys coming after him so he only has one choice and th ...more
Ryk Stanton
I was very happy to see that this was one of the novels provided for this year's reading curriculum. I haven't read it for a few years, but I really enjoyed it. Lipsyte's love for sports is evident in his writing style - the boxing scenes really leave you on the edge of your seat feeling all the punches and quick movements. I read this out loud to all three of my classes and think the overall appreciation was fairly high (especially for a bunch of kids who claim not to like to read).

Why four ins
...more
Peyton Collier
This book is a good book for people that enjoy realistic fiction with a little action. The main character Alfred wants to be a boxer so there is some action and people that are not on his side/not liking him so there is sure to be some action.
Haley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Da-silva
May 28, 2014 Jonathan Da-silva is currently reading it
Alfred Brooks, 17 year old high school dropout who works at the local grocery store. But that job isn't taking him anywhere. So Alfred began to go to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem where the best champions in the world trained. There he learns that work takes effort, you must train to succeed. Alfred is hoping he can go pro. But will he go through all the training to become pro? Or will he quit boxing how he quit school?

This book was great. I can admit, it was a little sad and depress
...more
Chantelle
Another inner-city-kid overcomes the odds story.

Gangs, shootings, drugs, etc. The protagonist fights (ha, pun intended) his way out with the help of caring mentors at a boxing gym.

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“It's the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is an extra reward. ” 19 likes
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