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The Berlin Boxing Club

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,706 ratings  ·  736 reviews
Sydney Taylor Award-winning novel Berlin Boxing Club is loosely inspired by the true story of boxer Max Schmeling's experiences following Kristallnacht.

Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But the bullies at his school in Nazi-era Berlin, don't care that Karl has never been in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by attacks on
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Hardcover, 399 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by HarperCollins Canada / Other
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Stacie There is no serious swearing but there is a part where Herr Koplek tries to rape Greta on her birthday on page 215
Sarah It's a WW2 Historical Fiction book about a boy of Jewish decent growing up in Nazi Germany.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,706 ratings  ·  736 reviews


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Melissa Frye
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Have you ever read a book that you knew had to be shared, not just with a friend or family member, but with the multitudes. The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow should be read by all teenage boys.
Fourteen-year-old Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But to the bullies at his school in Nazi era Berlin, it doesn't matter that Karl has never set foot in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by relentless attacks on a heritage he doesn't accept as
...more
Shelby
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars
I really love this book more than what I thought I would. I have learned many things from just reading this book. This book has been on my want to read list for awhile now and I am glad that I finally had a chance to able to read this book. I loved everything about this book. I loved that how it was so informational but it was base on how the old days was. I would recommend this book to anyone. I would for sure read this book again.
Rebecca
Read this review and more on my blog

In a nutshell: A great historical novel based on the true - and new to me - story of Max Schmeling, a famous German boxer who helped two Jewish children flee in 1938.

I had been meaning to read The Berlin Boxing Club for so long. What finally inspired me was seeing it in a recommendations post on Tumblr and it being the only book I hadn't yet read, along with a heap of my favourites. It's not necessarily as 'wow' for me personally as some of those books, but I
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Kira Simion
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked the book's insight but, I couldn't feel the characters emotions. It was like reading an (autobiography) but mostly like reading a textbook of a story.

The author has real potential but, rather than "showing" us, the readers, he continues to "tell" us what happens, where the MC is, and I did like the story altogether but, I could've liked it more.

I found one or two grammar mistakes. "Our selves" should've been "ourselves" in one sentence and there was another that needed a capitalized lett
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Ângela
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book broke my heart into little pieces...

" Would not you be interested in carrying an apple or, perhaps, some eggs? They are fresh from my cousin's farm.
I noticed how his coat was frayed. His eyes were damp and yellow, betraying his despair as he waited for my answer.
"Sure, I'll bring an apple."
"How about one for your sister?" Just a few more cents.
I hesitated. In fact, I did not have the extra cents to spend, but Herr Greenberg seemed to need them even more than we did.
"All right," I agree
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Sam
May 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
There are layers to the pure and utter crap that this book contains.


Seriously, I was left in utter shock of the sheer crappery that is this book.


But hey, I'm fair. Let's start with the positives:


+ Boxing.

+ The book respectfully portrays the art of boxing.

+ People die.

- Actually I'm wrong. No one dies in this book. Death is only in mention and not actually shown in-detail. Another reason why this book is crap.


- The main character is a fedora-wearing brony that probably has a neckbeard.


- In anothe
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Cheryl
Karl Stern is a typical thirteen year old living in Berlin in 1934. He enjoys school, acting as big brother to his little sister Hildy, drawing cartoons, and seeing his new girlfriend, Greta. His upper middle class family is Jewish in name only. His father is an art dealer, and Karl often helps out at gallery showings.

Karl’s father is a friend of the German national hero, boxer Max Schmeling. At a gallery show, Max offers to give Karl boxing lessons in exchange for a painting. Karl jumps at the
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Mackenzie Wilson
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-read-2015
While I usually really enjoy historical fiction, especially World War II era, this book was a huge letdown. Poor writing, 2 dimensional characters...I rolled my eyes any number of times. There are many books about this era that would be better worth your time. I do, however, find myself more interested in the boxing world, Max Schmeling, and Joe Louis. A non-fiction book, or even a more concise fictional book, would interest me. But I don't see myself reaching for any other books by this author ...more
Caleb
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great Book!! It should be read by all teenage guys. Not exacty a girl book, but that doesnt mean girls cant read it. That being said there were a few issues with the book.
VIOLENT CONTENT
This book is set at the beginning of World War II and it is about boxing so you can expect some violence. Karl is beat up a few times. Bowing matches are held, sometimes on the radio, blow by blow. Kristallnact happens at the end, during which screams are heard and some boys break into Karls house, break things
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Lisa
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I bought this book at a middle school book fair. It is young adult, historical fiction based loosely on the true story of Max Schmeling, a boxing star in Nazi Germany. After a defeat to Joe Louis and after harboring two Jewish children in his apartment, Hitler was not happy with him any longer, and Max was forcibly drafted into the German paratroopers where he was wounded in combat.

But this story is not about him. It is about Karl Stern, a young boy bullied at his school in Nazi Berlin, even tho
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M
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: A world war II lover who is looking for something unique
This book was highly enjoyable because it was unique and inspirational. There are so many books out there that are the typical all-the-same Holocaust stories (not that I don't love them), but this went a step forward. It was unique that there was something else going on in the characters life, which brought an exciting and unique aspect to the book. The story brought a lot of inspiration and hope because when times seemed to be so rough for Karl, he persevered and kept his dream alive that Max w ...more
Jared Hass
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. The story line and the characters within the book were very enjoyable and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fiction book based on non-fiction events.
Karen
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
At one point during the reading of this story, my son and I agreed it would be better in cinematic form.....a nice way to say the story is good; the writing - not so much.

The narrator's internal monologue did not seem to fit that of a Jewish teenager in Berlin during Hitler's regime. The external dialogue among the characters was very basic, making a mismatch between the mature themes and the weak prose.

Three stars for the actual storyline; it did generate an interest in Max Schmeling and his b
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Julie Gardner
My previous foray into historical fiction was pretty blah, so I didn't have high hopes for YA historical fiction about a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany. I was pleasantly surprised by the original perspective of the protagonist who is not a practicing Jew and who comes of age at a boxing club amidst some very real, very complex historical figures. I only wish the author would have explored the comic book aspect a little more. I loved the parallels he drew with the new Superman and would have loved to ...more
Justin Baker
Oct 21, 2013 added it
Shelves: english
This is one of the better books I've read in my years. It was very action packed and there was never a dull moment. I like how it made you feel like you were Jewish in nazi-Germany. The story was also very realistic in my mind. There are no complaints to be had about this book. I would highly recommend this book to anybody.
malayna
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-5-stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phi
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hayded Copp
Karl Stern is kind of a wimp. He got beat up and peed his pants during the fight. The kid who fought him was a lot smaller than him as well. I'm not a huge fan of Karl mostly because he is a wimp in my eyes. He's is the stereotypical geek. The bullies fight him because somehow they find out that he has a family history of Jews. Karl also draws pictures of his teachers and that's the only thing I like about him. Also, Karl is described as being nonjewish looking so I don't know how the bullies fo ...more
Jose
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked these many stars because i really enjoyed the book, i enjoyed how it involved a real heavy weight boxer (Max Schmeling). I enjoy reading books that were stationed with WW1 and WW! The book was a just right book for me, it wasent too hard or too easy for me. Someone else should read this book because they could learn something new, on the back of the book it shows different dates and a description of what happen on that date. The book would be better if had a table of contents, theirs so ...more
Loni Colleen
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Berlin Boxing Club was a book that combined two genres i am passionate about: Boxing and World War II. Although the book is slightly juvenile and truly meant for a younger audience, i still enjoyed it. It was easy to read, flowed well, and held my interest throughout the entire story. I enjoyed all of the characters; each of them being very unique, and some unexpected. The mix between boxing and survival in Berlin in 1935-1940+ was a very intriguing idea. I enjoyed the balance of both topics ...more
Alex  Baugh
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
The Berlin Boxing Club is an historical fiction novel about a young secular Jewish teen coming of age in Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1939. Karl Stern has never considered himself a Jew and his Aryan looks have always helped him get away with that. But not anymore.

After receiving a vicious beating by some former friends turned Hitler Youth bullies, Karl has the good fortune to meet boxing champion Max Schmeling, who knows immediately that he had been beaten up. He offers to give Karl boxing le
...more
Emily N
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book and it was super fun to read! It had exciting new action in every chapter.
Ted
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book about what was happening to the Jewish people in germany at the time of hitlers rise. It made me think how lucky I am to be living in this time period with no majkr problems
Chelsea
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
During this quarter I read the book “The Berlin Boxing Club” by Robert Sharenow. Karl Stern lives in Berlin, Germany with his sister Hildegard and his parents. His father is owns an art store but makes very little income. Karl is sent on under the table jobs by his dad just so they can try and get by. Karl has never thought of himself as Jewish. When the war starts, that changes. His friends turn against him, his teachers turn against him, even his girlfriend eventually turns against him. When ...more
Manuel Ochoa
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a way really, This could be the world war 2 version of the great rocky himself. Would of never really think of a setting where sports can still be held while men are off in the war risking their lives for their country. But it not about them this around. The time is about 1936 in Berlin (three years before ww2 started) with the main character of the story is a fourteen-year Jewish boy Karl Stren. Learning from the all mighty Max Schmeling he struggles to compete in boxing but had to know that ...more
Faith C
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't want the book to end. I loved all the characters.
Denise
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written historical fiction based very loosely on boxer Max Schnelling who save 2 Jewish boys during Kristallnacht. Well written, very interesting. Great recommendation for teens looking to read more about WW2 (and adults too)!
Jonah Tristan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judah
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Robert Sharenow is an award-winning writer and television producer. His first novel, My Mother the Cheerleader, was chosen as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers.

He is also an Emmy Award-winning television producer and serves as senior vice preside
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“The weakest punches are thrown with the tongue.” 29 likes
“There's adventure in the air. . . and cake to be eaten.” 12 likes
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