Paul's Reviews > The Berlin Boxing Club

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

it was amazing
Read from December 05 to 17, 2011

There have been few books that I have read recently that inspire me to become an author. The Berlin Boxing Club was one of those special books. I connected on many different levels with this novel about a young boy's self-discovery in 1930's Germany during the rise of Hitler. There were parts of this book that made me think of Schindler's List since part of the story revolved around Max Schmeling, a historical figure who saved the lives of two young Jewish men in Berlin. Part of this book made me think of Karate Kid, a story about learning a fighting skill and eventually beating the meanest of all opponents. Knowing nothing about boxing, this book was able to break the sport down for me in a way that helped me see it as a sport and not just two guys beating the snot out of each other.

Ultimately, I was pulled into this story by the art history mentioned in it. I am not a huge art history enthusiast, but having gone through the National Board Certification process for teachers, I have come to appreciate the reading of art. The first few chapters drew me into the art of George Grosz and his painting of Max Schmeling. Seeing this art piece and others by George Grosz made me want to take a piece of art and discover the story behind it or the story behind the portrait. I am grateful that this author. Robert Sharenow, opened up a piece of history for me and young adults that was hidden. I hope to have the chance to teach this novel as part of a unit in my classes one day.

There are many other connections I can go on to discuss, but I will leave it up to you to discover your own connections. Enjoy!

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Reading Progress

14.0% "I am learning so much about the everyday heroes of history, namely Max Schmeling. His history is amazing; it reminds me of a small-scale Schindler's List. I must say the historical context adds so much to this story. I love to see the inspiration authors take to create their engaging works. I look forward to the day when I can hone this skill for myself. (link is safe)"
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