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Why I Fight

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  438 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
Wyatt Reaves takes the seat next to you, bloodied and soaking wet, and he is a big-fisted beast. Tell him to stretch out like an X across asphalt and you've got a parking space. But Wyatt's been taking it lying down for too long, and he is NOT happy.

Since he turned twelve and a half, he's been living with his uncle, a traveling salesman of mysterious agenda and questiona
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson 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)

Community Reviews

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Jack Anderson
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley P.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Carter Kelso
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!
Cole Corkery
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book because I wanted to find a book that had some action in it. I didn't expect it to be this good. This book involves many hardships that happen to a 13 year old boy who ran away from home and lives with his uncle who is always on the move.
Andrew Stephens
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
During Quarter 2 I read the book Why I Fight, by J. Adams Oaks. Again this is a completely new author to me. J. Adams Oaks is a very secretive author. He is not very well known and chooses to be more concealed. He is known for this book and this is the only book I have read of his. This book is about a very early developed 14 year-old boy named Wyatt Reaves. Wyatt and his family are all from the country but have been split up and spends all his time with his unlawful uncle Spade. Wyatt is forced ...more
I read the fiction book why I fight by J. Adams Oak. This is a book about a 12 year old boy named Wyatt Reaves and how he is forced to rises above what has happened to him and get through everything going on around him by fighting all across America to support him and his uncle. I thought this was an excellent book because it showed some serious things in wyatt's life and what he had to do to overcome them. It also showed things that were funny and things that got you really pulled into the book ...more
Zarek Hoffman
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Uncle Spade always called it boxing. All i did was fight. First fight he ever had wit gloves made him a lot of money. He decided to keep training for this and work hard because he was making a lot of money even if he was winning or losing. He was a hard worker used his time wisely and always put a good effort into it. When he went out to the ring he fought his hardest and never gave up. He was dedicated to boxing. He was strong and never put himself down. Whenever he would go down he knew the o ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it did not like it

I thought that this book would be interesting because of the synopsis but it was actually very boring and badly written.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I found it at the dollar store and took a chance. I'm so glad I did. It was a great read!
Elsie Atkinson
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish it continued. The reading style took a little bit to get used to, but overall the illiteracy helped enhance the character.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Loree Thomas
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
The story is about a young teenager named Wyatt who's house, at the age of twelve burned down by his neglecting parents. Then later he was move to live with his uncle nicknamed Spade. Wyatt was moved down to live with his uncle quickly after his house had burned down.During the coarse of the story Wyatt’s Uncle influences many of his decisions and forcing him to fight older men, by passing himself as an 18 year old. The story is about Wyatt going through life trying to figure out what kind of g ...more
Joe Gaydek
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Jake Morgan
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jarred Allen
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
1Cullen J
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm not a huge reader of YA books, but my older son really enjoyed this one, so I took the plunge. A much different adventure than reading the "Wimpy Kid" series that my younger son likes!

This is a book full of dysfunctional adults with dysfunctional relationships. It is the story of a boy who grows to be a man (or at least a little more grown up) in spite of his family and environment. None of the adults in Wyatt's life have sterling character - each is deeply flawed by greed, selfishness, addi
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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