Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PINNED by Alfred C. Martino


by Alfred C. Martino

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-205355-7
Publisher: Harcourt

Unsparing and told with such visceral acuity that the reader can almost feel the burn of the mat, author Martino meticulously details the kind of guts it takes to get the glory. Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane, two determined high-school wrestlers from opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum, give it everything they’ve got as they prepare to compete for the New Jersey State championship. Narrated from alternating points of view, the two boys must face the grueling physical and mental challenges of the sport while dealing with academics, college admissions and various personal problems. Bobby, who watches helplessly as his wealthy parents’ marriage disintegrates, must cope with his girlfriend’s possible pregnancy. Ivan, who is grief-stricken due the recent death of his mother, struggles with his emerging feelings for his pretty neighbor and battles over college choice with his taciturn but strong-willed laborer father. As the championship match nears, the story becomes increasingly gripping, but it has a disappointingly unresolved ending, a daring but ultimately failed move that leaves the reader feeling unsatisfied and frustrated. (Fiction. 12-14)