The Berlin Boxing Club (Prebound)
Summer 2011 Kids' Next List
“This is historical fiction at its very best. Nazi-era Berlin is the setting for teen Karl Stern, a boy who has never thought of himself as a Jew. With the help of champion boxer, German her, and family friend Max Schmelling, he learns not only to box, but also to stand up and help protect his family from harm. This is a great addition to any curriculum about WWII, the Holocaust, and the history of the rise of Nazi power in Berlin.”
— Becky Anderson, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
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 a heritage he doesn't accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth.
So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl's father to give Karl boxing lessons, A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but now it seems like the perfect chance to reinvent himself.
But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. And as Max's fame forces him to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, Karl begins to wonder where his hero's sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm's way?
Includes an author's note and sources page detailing the factual inspirations behind the novel.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.