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The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
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May 23, 12

bookshelves: reviewed
Read in May, 2012

Karl Stern is a fourteen year old boy, growing up in Berlin. His family is not one that practices Jewish traditions, but they have Jewish roots. While Karl and his father do not show "Jewish" characteristics, his mother and sister do; curly black hair, and larger noses. The fact that Karl has never touched a synagog or that he doesn't identify with the religion of Judaism holds no weight with the bullies of his school. After a very quick one sided fight (not to is favor), Karl is left with no self esteem and tons of resentment and self hatred.

When Karl Stern is given the chance to learn to box with Max Schmeling, he jumps on it. He begins to train hard, full of determination, and slowly he finds himself growing stronger. Meanwhile, the prosecution against Jews increases. His little sister faces oppression and insults at school, and a fight at the family's studio leaves Karl devastated.

The Berlin Boxing Club is a new perspective of the Holocaust, the story of a boy who rises up to stand for his family - Karl Stern makes an enormous transition throughout the book, showing a journey of violence, oppression, love and endurance.
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