Monday, December 3, 2012

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

Karl Stern lives in Germany in 1934. He is fourteen-years-old  and thinks of himself as a pretty ordinary boy. He is a bit small and thin for his age, is a pretty good cartoonist, and gets along well with most of his classmates. That is until Hitler comes into power in Germany and everything changes.

Although Karl's family is not religious, they are Jewish, and they become targets along with other Jews living in Germany. Karl is badly beaten up in school and although he lies and says his bruises are because he fell down the stairs, his father's friend Max Schmeling, a champion boxer, sees through Karl's story and offers to give him boxing lessons.

It is horrifying to see Karl's life gradually change from going to school and living in a nice apartment to becoming almost homeless and "hunted" because he is Jewish. This is not an easy book to read - it shines a spotlight on a terrible time in the world's history, but I think boys will like it because it has adventure and mystery along with important history lessons.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was interesting that Max Schmeling lived so long and liked that he was included as a character. This is a very popular book with my 8th grade boys during the Holocaust unit.