A new biography of the foremost boxer of our time emphasizes Ali's stubborn unwillingness to fit the low-profile ``Credit to His Race'' mold of his predecessors: his loud (and eminently quotable) self-promotion; his conversion to the Nation of Islam; and, especially, his refusal to be drafted, which cost him years of court battles, much of his career, and (temporarily) his title and boxing credentials. The author focuses on Ali's public career and major bouts rather than on his private life; except for Ali's 1990 appeal to Iraq to free hostages, he closes with his retirement in the early 80's. Several pages of notes; chronology; brief, well-chosen booklist; index. B&w photos not seen. (Biography. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 1992

ISBN: 1-56294-112-7

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1992

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In the five years since their father's death from accumulated boxing injuries, 14-year-old George has earnestly taught his younger brother Monty how to fight—but not how to stop fighting; now, to his dismay (and his mother's), Monty is growing up in his dad's image, with "the heart of a lion and the head of a starfish,'' sneaking away to Uncle Archie's gym to train, going off on his own, coming home with the marks of street fights. Lynch surrounds George and Monty with a vivid tragicomic cast—from Chaz, an unwelcome Big Brother, and Nat, an unsavory building super whose only tools are a hammer and a roll of duct tape, to the horribly abused Rafkin children and their psychotic father. The subplots for each of these characters may be too neatly closed (having nerved themselves for a rescue, George and Monty charge into the Rafkin apartment only to find it empty), but they add comic interludes and build a sturdy emotional base for Monty's restless anger. This first novel, though, is less a study of the perils of violence (organized or otherwise) than a penetrating look at two close brothers—one who takes his responsibilities as man of the house too seriously, the other beginning to slip the leash. In the end, watching one of his father's gruesome bouts on film, Monty does learn that other lesson. Brutal, a little too tidy, but memorable. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-023027-4

Page Count: 216

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1993

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Using baseball as a guide for dating, Beam, in his U.S. debut, hits a grand-slam. When seventh-grader Darcy Spillman becomes smitten with beautiful and popular Danalda Chase, he hopes to “get to first base” with her. Of course, first he has to ask her out, and Darcy isn’t sure Danalda even knows he exists. Normally, Darcy would turn to his Grandpa Spillman for advice, but Grandpa is showing the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Instead, he turns to the new girl, Kamna, who suggests that Darcy should try out for the Cheetahs, his middle school’s baseball team. That would certainly win Danalda’s favor. Unfortunately, when the two finally go out, Danalda lives up to her reputation of being superficial, leaving Darcy unimpressed. It turns out that it’s Kamna he’d rather be with. Using baseball terms as his chapter headings, followed by definitions, Beam has managed to write a story that is fresh, funny and appealing to lovers and lovers of baseball, both male and female. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47578-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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