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Why I Fight

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Left alone for days on end, twelve-and-a-half-year-old Wyatt Reaves burns down the family house. His parents lose everything, but Wyatt's favorite uncle, Spade, whisks him away to "safety." Spade sees potential in the boy--to earn money--in the bare-fist fight racket. As the two travel across America for the next six years, living off Wyatt's earnings and the goodness of l ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Turtleback Books (first published 2009)
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Jaylese The reason why he got the money by making the kid fight is because they really needed it like the kid had no where else to go so the least he could do…moreThe reason why he got the money by making the kid fight is because they really needed it like the kid had no where else to go so the least he could do is help come up with the money since the uncle did take the kid in and give him a home when his parents wanted to kill him and couldn't afford shoes to go on the boys feet.(less)
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Community Reviews

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i chose this book because i like the title of it. i thought it would have drugs or something like that but it didn't. instead it was better it was how he stood up for himslef and how he wanted to be happy. this book is a realistic fiction book. in this book theres really no place and where the setting takes place they charecters just travel from place to place for fights.The main charecter is about 14 years old he is tall for his age so in appreance he looks like a 18 year old. He's built know h ...more
Jack Anderson
I read the book Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks. I would not recommend this book to a friend because it was poorly written and the author did not keep me entertained. The author used a lot of run on sentences, sentences that didn’t make sense, and sentences that really lost my focus. One strong piece of evidence to support my reason is on page (143) and (144) when the main characters Wyatt and his uncle Spade are on the road. The author writes, “Grass and grass and trees and signs and cars and truc ...more
Great cover! However,at times sketchy character development and story line. You kept waiting for something to happen or for a twisit in the story but nothing came. At times it felt like every other chapter was interesting and pulled you in but as soon as the next chapter started the interest was lost. I did like the sense of voice given to the main characer, Wyatt.
This book was entertaining and gave an overview of how the main character, Wyatt Reaves, goes through life at the age of twelve and a half. This book not only gives the struggles of a boy that doesn't know who he is, what he wants, where he wants to be... but gives a greater theme to the reader that no matter how hard life may be, never give up in life. There is more to this book than just what the author has written. Focusing on the hints and details that the author conveys throughout the story ...more
Ashley P.
Ok, so let me just start by saying that I LOVED this book. As in I wanted it to keep going and never end. As you can see by my profile, I rate every book I read but have only left a handful of reviews. That's because not every book I read hits me in the gut like this one did. And I really don't know why that is. The plot really isn't anything that I haven't read before. Mistreated, misunderstood youth sets out to discover himself isn't a new plot. But for some reason, this one just spoke to me. ...more
Michelle Rocha
This book just broke my heart. From the time that Wyatt takes up with his uncle, he never even goes to school. Knowing that school provides some stability to kids living in such horrid situations, it’s so sad that Wyatt doesn’t even know that measure of comfort. The ending didn’t give me much hope for Wyatt either. I was thoroughly depressed at the end of this book. I only saw him perpetuating the same cycle of irresponsibility and a life of crime he was brought up in. He encounters no mentor or ...more
I thought this book was pretty good. What struck me the best about this book was the way the main character thought and did things. He didn't do things the way that other people would. What struck me the worst was the way the character's uncle was coming off. His attitude and the way he just used his own nephew like that made me mad, but that's also what kept me readng it. I wanted to see what Wyatt was going to do. If I could find more books by the same author and that had the same type of acti ...more
Carter Kelso
The main character,Wyatt is a strong young kid that while reading this makes you want for him to be a real person. Wyatt hasn't seen his parents since he was twelve and he is living with his uncle Spade. They are always moving around the country and Wyatt never really gets to have a designated home. He and his uncle are always on the move selling random items just to get by. One day, uncle Spade spots Wyatt throwing a powerful punch because Wyatt is mad. He realizes that, that very punch could m ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you've ever met an angry young man who is more likely to resort to fists than words, this book may provide one explanation for that type of behavior. Wyatt Reaves jumps at the chance to hit the road with his wandering (and part-time criminal) uncle and leave his parents behind, who don't care about him anyway. He's 12 1/2. So begins his life as a nomad, the end of his schooling, and the beginning of his life as a bare-fisted fighter. It becomes apparent that he only has value in his uncle's e ...more
1Cullen J
The novel starts off with him at home with his real mom and dad. They beat him and very quickly his uncle took him away from them when he was 10. His uncle was a traveling man, he had a lot of women that had houses he could stay at in different states, he was a salesman so he traveled and sold anything to get money to buy beer and take care of the boy Wyatt. In the novel it shows how he wasn’t a great role model to Wyatt and didn’t set many rules for him but the boy made good decisions on his ow ...more
Joe Gaydek
Joseph Gaydek
Why I Fight
This book is about a teenage boy named Wyatt Reaves that used to live with his parents Ma and Fever that were always gone working. On his 12th and a half birthday, he left with his Uncle Spade to live in his Chevy truck and go across the US staying at many of his girlfriends’ houses for very short periods of time while he did business selling shirts and many other things. One day while spade was selling shirts at the fair, Wyatt signed up for a pig wrangling comp
Devin Hermon
My book is about a kid named Wyatt and he burnt down his house because he wanted to stay at his uncles house but his mom Didn't want him to so he he moved in with his nana and he believes she is crazy so he doesn't want to stay there but he has to but his uncle comes and gets him offend so the can be together his uncle taught him how to clean a fish, so he got tired of living with his nana and moved in with this girl named Lynnesha she didn't plan on letting him move in with he because she didn' ...more
Robert Joyce
My review is only based off of a little more than half the book but through everything I have read, I thought the book was quite interesting. I would recommend this book to someone who likes to read because the details of the book make you want to keep reading. It always lead me on to another page because it flowed so well together I just felt like I was watching a movie in my head but I was really only reading it.A young teen named Wyatt was saved by his uncle whose nickname is Spade. Uncle Spa ...more
This is an author to look out for! Wow--what a powerful story!

Even though Wyatt doesn't run away in the traditional sense, he is taken by his Uncle from his parent's home, I was reminded of him by this video in the NYT today because wyatt's parent's don't look for him. Copy and paste the link into your browser. For those of us who work with teens, this is worth watching!
Josh Porterfield
A young kid named Wyatt was in an orphanage. Then someone came in and got him out of there, and Wyatt eventually wakes up to find himself in the car with his Uncle Spade. His uncle never gave him any attention when he was younger, except when Wyatt enters himself in a pig wrestling competition. That was when Wyatt discovers that he really knows how to punch. Wyatt eventually takes on boxing, fighting people to support himself and his uncle. There is also another side of Wyatt, a sensitive side. ...more
Daxx Jorgensen
J. Adams Oaks did an amazing job in writing this book. This book is interesting because it is both sad and exciting. It tells the story of a young boy named Wyatt Reaves who starts out his life weak and scared. Wyatt grows up in a poor family. His parents are constantly getting drunk and they don’t really care for him or about him. This is why Wyatt is sad and keeps to himself. Wyatt’s parents did not want him after Wyatt accidently burn the house down. Wyatt had to go live with his Uncle Spade, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was very exciting. It follows a boy who's uncle ends up taking him under his wing b/c parents really don't seem very interested in being parents. He's picked up by his uncle after he started a fire in his parents' house since they hadn't been home in like 3 days and it was his birthday.
As the boy, Wyatt, travels with his uncle, he meets many people all over the country. His uncle is a traveling salesman and pretty much sells everything. He stays with various women, sleeping on the floo
To be honest, I read this book for the specific purpose of being able to discuss it with a struggling reader who I thought it would be perfect for. Turns out, I loved it, myself.

It's sad. It's vivid. It is, in my opinion, beautiful.

The book centers around Wyatt, a boy who has a grown man's height. He leaves his extremely dysfunctional family life in his uncle's care, and stays quiet and obedient - like a well-behaved dog - so his uncle will keep bringing him along on his cross-country sales and
Doreen Fritz
Another of the nominees for the Illinois Abraham Lincoln H.S. Book Award for 2012, this book would be one to suggest to your reluctant readers, especially boys. The main character, Wyatt, is 12 when his Uncle Spade shows up and takes him away. Wyatt is happy to leave his parents and go with his uncle, though we're not sure why until much later in the book. Spade travels around the country, just getting by on the little he makes by selling this or that, and visiting a series of girlfriends. Wyatt ...more
The book that i read was Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks, it is a very action packed novel where there is action in every sentence; which made this book a page turner. For some evidence of intense action is on page 185, one character said, " i wiped my slashed skin on my shorts" i used this line to make the reader think about how the character received this injury. Second on page 95 another character said, " I just hit the guy hard, REAL HARD" i thought that showed that there was some intense phisi ...more
Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks is a book that I would not recommend to another person or friend because of the inappropriate content in the book. One piece of evidence that supports this is “And tonight, opening night went wrong. This is Fever’s blood, I got on my knuckles. He got me so peeved that I popped him in the face.” (Page 2) This evidence to me is very descriptive and violent. The main character, Wyatt, has punched his father in the face because of a disagreement. This is not appropriate ...more
Wyatt lives in a dirty, littered apartment in the “city.” His parents work several jobs, and then go off on their own leaving him constantly alone. When the story opens, he has been alone for seven days and he has had enough. He goes into his parents’ room, finds some newspaper and lights it, enjoying the fire. When his parents finally return, they are more concerned about the house than Wyatt, and don’t even ask where he is. At the city shelter, Uncle Spade comes to take him away, and
Matthew Pauly
Why I Fight by J. Adam Oaks was a very captivating and fun read. I was glad I chose to read this book because the author gave great detail, and he made me feel like I was a part of the story. However, it did get confusing at times and it was very easy to loose focus.

This blood-rushing book is about a 13 year old boy who gets adopted by his gambling addicted Uncle Spade. As the book progresses and Wyatt and Spades’s relationship grows, Spade discovers that Wyatt has potential in being a great fig
Jack Nelson
Why I Fight is an action filled book about a boy named Wyatt and his Uncle Spade. The book starts out with Wyatt leaaving his parents and going to live with his uncle. His uncle Spade is a very unstable person. He never stays in one place for very long, traveling all over the country selling various items. Wyatt helps him sell things, until he figures out he has a nasty punch. Spade then starts enetering him into fights for money. Wyatt swears that the first time he looses he will quit fighting. ...more
Garrett Tworek
I read Why I Fight by J. Adam Oaks.
This book had many detailed sentences and was packed full of action and fights. I do like the personalities of the characters because I can relate to Wyatt as I am a 15 year old boy. Another reason why this book is interesting is because of all of the conversations that many books today do not contain, every page has a conversation whether it is with another person or a soliloquy.

I would not recommend it to a friend because it was poorly written, such as man
Why I fight is not a book I would recommend to a friend. The book was not very full of action and lacked details that could have really pulled it together. From the start I chose this book because I like to fight and play around with my brother and friends, and the summary made it seem like it was a decent book. However, as I kept reading the book I found a large lack of detail and purpose. The characters weren't very descriptive, and there is not truly a reason why the main character (Wyatt) ev ...more
Jake Morgan
J. Adams Oaks did an amazing job in writing this book. This book is interesting because it is both sad and exciting. This boy Wyatt Reaves has a rough life at the beginning. Only at the age of 12, he is out on the street with his parents, that don't really care a lot about him. The reason they were on the streets were because his house burnt down, which he caused. After that his mom and dad didn't care what he did. They had to work 3 jobs just to make ends meet. One night while he was in a shel ...more
Jarred Allen
I would say the purpose of this book is to show how some children don't have the greatest of relationships with their parents. Wyatt is 12 years old at the beginning of the story, and something has happened at home. The reader understands that his parents have not been the best parents, but we don’t get any specifics about this relationship until the end of the book.So, his Uncle Spade picks him up, and he spends the next several years with Spade, who buys and sells things. He has a woman in ev ...more
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