Read The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow Online


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 onSydney 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....

Title : The Berlin Boxing Club
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061579684
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 399 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Berlin Boxing Club Reviews

  • Shelby
    2019-04-11 10:43

    5 StarsI 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.

  • Melissa Frye
    2019-04-11 10:36

    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 his own, Karl longs to prove his worth to everyone around him.So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl's father to give Karl boxing lessons, Karl sees it as the perfect chance to reinvent himself. A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but as Max becomes the mentor Karl never had, Karl soon finds both his boxing skills and his art flourishing.But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. Karl longs to ask his new mentor for help, but with Max's fame growing, he is forced to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, leaving Karl 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?Future generations should be made aware of the historical events this book imparts. The story itself brings the events to life with clarity. Using universal dilemmas of youth, such as being bullied and finding your first love, Sharenow compounds their effects using the backdrop of Germany adopting Nazism. The characters are so complex and real; their hardships become ours. Through boxing, under the tutelage of the German national hero, Max Schmeling, fourteen year-old Karl Stern discovers himself. Unexpected encounters with people from his father’s past, sheds new light on the man who raised him, but never shared the horrors he witnessed. Karl becomes a man during one of the darkest times in World History and his dreams, desires and heartaches are laid bare to the reader. Unfairness takes on new meaning under Nazi oppression.I’ll be looking for other titles by Sharenow and this book will most likely be donated to the local public school library. It’s a worthy read both for the story and the historical significance.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-04 16:34

    Read this review and more on my blogIn 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 appreciated it in its own way. I was really engaged in the story, I loved the combination of fact and fiction, and I learned things I didn't know before. In a way you could say that it embodied a lot of what I love about this genre. Karl Stern and his family is Jewish - it makes no difference to the Nazis that they don't practice the religion. He's bullied at school when a group of his peers find out and with the rising discrimination, life is difficult. Due to his connection with Karl's father, the renowned German boxer Max Schmeling trains Karl to defend himself. Time passes and he grows adept at boxing, but his fists can't protect his family and it's Max that he turns to for help leaving Germany. The book was different to what I've read before, especially concerning WWII/Holocaust fiction, in the sense that the Sterns were secular Jews. It was surprising, but also interesting in the different kind of perspective it presented. It was as much a coming-of-age w/ boxing story as it was a historical novel, though the situation at the time always seemed to have a presence in the background, even if it wasn't front and center all of the time. The weakest element of the book to me was the characters. I can't help but - unfairly - compare it to other novels, where I did have more of a connection with the characters. The romance especially could have used with more development. The characters weren't really flat, but they didn't feel like they were ready to spring to life off the page either. I wish that they would have been fleshed out more, particularly the side characters, though one of the highlights for me was the drag character (please let me know if there's another word I should use instead of 'drag') and their courage and role in the story. Something I liked about The Berlin Boxing Club was its readability. I read it in a day and it was really engaging from the beginning. The writing style isn't too complex, but I felt like it fit the story well and it helped me to finish it in pretty much two short sittings. The comics/drawings throughout were a nice addition too for the sake of authenticity and Karl's character.Before reading this book, I knew nothing of Max Schmeling. I can't say that I'm too interested in boxing, though I did surprisingly enjoy that element of the novel. I wish that we could have seen more of his character and thoughts, but he was interesting regardless. Shortly after finishing the book, I looked him up and read more about his past. Many years after WWII it was discovered that he risked his life to save two Jewish children in 1938, despite being viewed by many at the time as a 'Nazi puppet'. The Berlin Boxing Club is inspired by this and Robert Sharenow's interpretation is of Karl Stern and his sister as those children. I recommend The Berlin Boxing Club to readers who are interested in historical fiction set during the Kristallnact/Nazi Germany time period, particularly the kind of novels that are inspired by a true story/individual specifically.

  • Kira Simion
    2019-04-05 10:18

    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 letter. I don't really care about grammar as long as it isn't too noticeable so I didn't really care.While the story was good, Jewish boxer, war insight, and persecution, I just couldn't connect with the character.4/5 outstanding but not quite there stars.I am in no way an editor. :)

  • Ângela
    2019-04-01 16:18

    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 agreed, picking another apple out of the basket."

  • Sam
    2019-04-23 11:21

    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 another words, he's an Atheist stereotype.- No I'm not kidding, in-fact, the very first chapter starts with him thinking about how much he doesn't like his fellow Jews for being religious. He even makes remarks that are borderline positive regarding Hitler's dislike for Jews.- Also found in the first chapter, are child Nazis that beat the crap out of the protagonist because they somehow know he's a Jew.Even though there was no indication whatsoever that the protagonist is Jewish. He's not religious and it's even mentioned that he looks NOTHING like a Jew!So unless these punk kids decided to extensively dig through historical records to determine one random student's heritage, it's very unlikely they had any idea that this dude's a Jew.- The romance in this book is totally fake and embarrassing.- Seriously Anakin Skywalker thinks this romance is bad.- It's as bad as Twilight.+ Okay maybe not that bad.- The book tries to portray real people, such as Max Schmeling, with fictional traits and personal relationships that the writer completely BS'd for the sake of "Historical accuracy".- I say "tries" because the writing is so bad it's not even publishable.- And yet somehow it got published.- Seriously I think the editor was drunk or something because this is so bad I don't think anyone would let it pass.- Oh so you don't believe me? Here's a snippet of this crap:“The Nazis had broken our windows and torn apart our furniture, but they had not destroyed our selves.” "But they had not destroyed our selves"? What the heck does that mean?But it's not just the grammar. In-fact, the grammar is usually fine. The problem lies in the book's emotion or the lack thereof. I'm not an author, but I'm also not an idiot. The main goal of any author is to convey emotion through words.That's why authors tell stories, as opposed to simply writing stories.Robert Sharenow wrote everything he wanted to write, but he didn't tell us anything.And as a result, none of the emotion was conveyed.Here's another example: "I didn’t really consider myself Jewish. Raised by an atheist father and an agnostic mother, I grew up in a secular household. I had absolutely no religious background or education."All he does is state facts. He doesn't tell us anything about how the protagonist feels. Which is okay to do every now and then, but the entire book is that way; just stating facts.And as a result, there is no creative edge to what any of the characters do or feel. It's as if the entire book is written in statements.And this is the part where I'm a little nice to this book:+ To be fair, the author handles the evolution of the protagonist very well. He does indeed change from a fedora-wearing brony with a nickbeard into an actual fighter.And that was cool to see.If I actually gave a crap.1.1 / 10

  • Mackenzie Christensen
    2019-04-23 16:46

    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 anytime in the future. The writing was almost painful.The best kind of books are the ones that tell you just enough and let you reach a conclusion, and an emotional connection, on your own. This book did the exact opposite of that by telling much more than it cared to show. The flippant remarks about the main character wanting to get into a girls pants, followed by the most painful case of insta-"I want to make out with you all the time but our relationship is annoying and unbelievable and will last about 10 pages even though it's set up like a big emotional struggle within the story" I have ever seen occurred. The characters had no communication skills throughout the entire story, and if I read the words "solar plexus" one more time I will puke. There were few likeable things about this novel, at least not enough to warrant more than 2 stars. The premise for the book was promising, but executed poorly.

  • Caleb
    2019-04-04 15:44

    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 and seriously injure his father and knocks out Karl. SEXUAL CONTENT Karl secretly meets with a girl for a while, occasionally kissing. The landlord trys to seduce her and threatens to reveal their relationship. Karls pulls his naked unconcious mother from the bathtub.Karl's father prints fliers for homosexual balls, hosted by the "Countess". Karl is at first appaled by his fathers accociation with these people, but grow more "comfortable" in a way around them(he delivers the fliers) During one of the visits, the Countess(she is really a man)emerges from the bedroom where his boyfriend waits for him.Some boys want to know if Karl is Jewsish, so they take off his pants. ect. OTHER STUFF Karl trys beer and likes it. a**,p*** b******, d****, are used a few times, and s*** is used once. Name calling is common in the boxing club, nothing worse than "bucket head" or so. Even with all that it was a really good book. Issues that guys face today such as parenting, girls, and school are faced by Karl as well.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-13 11:42

    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 though he is a non-practicing Jew. When Max Schmeling makes a deal with Karl's father, a painting for boxing lessons, Karl has a chance to reinvent himself from skinny boy to muscular young man, growing and maturing along the way. As Nazi violence against the Jews begins to escalate, Karl begins to take on a larger role in protecting his family.There are interesting things about this story that are different than other WWII-era historical books: Karl, though a Jew, would have loved to have joined Nazi Youth. He doesn't like that his father and his sister look like traditional Jews. And Max, though not a Nazi, never stood against it either.This is a different kind of WWII story about a Jewish family. Very good and very enlightening in a different sort of way.

  • M
    2019-03-30 09:32

    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 would fulfill his promise of teaching him to box. This book also accurately represented how hard life for Jewish during this time was. In many parts of the book Karl couldn't be himself or do what he wanted to do because of his religion. At some parts of the book, he was even physically bullied for this. I interpreted Karl as someone who wanted to be himself, but his religion wouldn't let him do this. So, he used his love of boxing to push his constraints of his religion aside and embrace who he really was.

  • Karen
    2019-03-26 12:43

    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 boxing career in Germany during Hitler's reign.

  • Julie Gardner
    2019-04-12 13:46

    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 see more.

  • Justin Baker
    2019-04-18 16:36

    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
    2019-04-01 17:36

    MY OPINION: ****THIS IS AN ESSAY THAT I WROTE ON THIS BOOK FOR SCHOOL THAT COUNTS AS A REVIEWKarl Stern, our protagonist, is born into a Jewish family. He does not possess the Jewish qualities that the Nazi Germans make fun of, but his family does. Karl doesn’t “really consider [himself] as Jewish…” (Page 6) and even states in the beginning of the book that “Jews sounded different. They acted different. They were different… I believed they were ruining everything…” (Page 9). He doesn’t believe in either the Nazis nor the Jewish people and he honestly just wants to be an innocent boy who is getting a good education. He doesn’t want to face the problems that are so obviously right in front of his face. His priorities at the beginning of the book are not as important as his final priorities; for example, his top priorities at the start are “Find a way to gain weight… Getting rid of my acne… Getting inside Greta Hauser’s pants and having her find her way into mine…” (Page 22); Karl only lists the situation regarding Hitler and the Nazis as his fifth most important priority—this is also at the very bottom of his list. However, as the story progresses, Karl’s attitude about the social issues in this book start to change after he starts to adopt the fact that he comes from Jewish descent and that there are people out there who are going to willingly discriminate unfairly against him. He starts to learn to box in order to defend himself against bullies that rag on him because he is Jewish. Karl starts to perceive the changes that Nazi Germany is going through and how the Jewish people are treated in his country because of who they are. Because of the various issues in society in this book, Karl is not allowed to be with his girlfriend, Greta, because of his background. He also is looked down upon and his father’s business starts to go downhill as society gets worse. “Dix, Grosz, and most of the other modern artists my father represented had fled Germany since the Nazis’ rise to power… Many artists were arrested… he began showcasing government-approved artists… his heart wasn’t in it…” (Page 27-28). Because of the state that Germany is in, Karl starts boxing lessons with champion Max Schmeling and gradually grows into a man that his father always wanted him to be. He takes care of his sister, Hildy, who has Jewish facial features and is being made fun of because of it. He also helps his father in an illegal trade of art in order to help support his family. He keeps a positive outlook on life and tries to be the adult of the house when there is nobody there to guide him. His beliefs change once he realizes that the Nazis are horribly unjust toward Jewish people. He is newly aware of this change in his country and his choices that are made from this point on are for the good of his family rather than selfish reasons. He even gives up tickets to the Olympics in order to earn some money for his family, even though he would much rather attend the Olympics. Karl starts out in this book as a rather ignorant and weak boy who was unwilling to face society and its problems; however, he matures as the story progresses; as he learns about all of the social issues that he is forced to deal with, he grows into a man who is willing to make choices and sacrifices.I would recommend this book to people who are wishing to learn about social issues in Nazi Germany and have a good historical and fun read.Main Character: KarlSidekick(s): Greta, Hildy, Max, the Countess, Neblig, etcVillain(s): Nazis, being Jewish, discrimination, etcHistorical Fiction Elements: This book is based on a historical period but with fictional elements.

  • Loni Gross
    2019-04-03 09:41

    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 and felt they went very well together, especially for the main character. Overall it was a unique tale with a bit of historical facts and background to give it foundation.

  • Jose
    2019-04-03 14:25

    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 some really good quotes at the beginning of a chapter. A table of contents would be easier to find the quotes and the chapters.

  • Alex Baugh
    2019-04-10 17:26

    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 lessons at his club in exchange for a Georg Grosz portrait of himself which Karl’s art dealer father owns. Though the Stern’s desperately need money not boxing lessons, Karl’s father reluctantly agrees to the deal.While Karl becomes more and more proficient at boxing, life at home becomes more and more difficult. His father is always angry and critical of Karl, his younger sister is unhappy and afraid and his mother is severely depressed and distant. To make matters worse, he has started a relationship with an Aryan girl in his apartment building, something expressly forbidden in Nazi Germany.And things just get worse. His father’s art gallery is forced to close, and the family must live on the little money earned from his private printing business, which includes making flyers for parties given by a drag queen named The Countess. Eventually, the Sterns are evicted from their apartment for being Jews and forced to live in the closed art galley.Karl’s one saving grace is boxing, but when he is outed at a German Youth Tournament in 1937 and barred from competing, he not longer can use boxing as an escape, and stops going to The Berlin Boxing Club. When he finally does return, he discovers that the club has been sold and turned into place where blankets are made. Meanwhile, Max is in the US, preparing for a rematch with Joe Lewis, the famous African American boxer he had previously defeated in 1936 much to the joy of the Reich. But when Max loses the rematch, he also loses all his standing and creditability with the upper echelons of the Nazi regime. He returns to Germany, defeated and degraded, living in the Excelsior Hotel.And this is where Karl finds him after the gallery had been destroyed during Kristallnacht by roving Hitler Youth members and his father’s subsequent arrest for owning a forbidden printing press. Now, Karl really needs help from Max.Sharenow effectively demonstrates the effects of the increasingly tightening noose that the Nazis put about the Jews in Germany in the 1930s in The Berlin Boxing Club. I thought the characters were well drawn, both realistic and sympathetic. Through them, Sharenow was able to show how strongly many secular Jews had considered themselves to be German first, Jewish second and why that thinking may have caused a great deal of confusion when the Nazis first took over. This is really apparent in Karl, who even wishes he could join the Hitler Youth along with the other boys in school, a not uncommon wish of may Jewish boys and girls in the early days. Like many people, the Sterns thought that Hitler and his regime wouldn’t last or that things would at least calm down. I certainly would have felt the same way at that time. Extra kudos to Sharenow for adding a drag queen character, no doubt a remnant of the old Weimar Republic days, and I thought the subsequent courageous part s/he ultimately played in Karl’s life very touching. Unfortunately, there were two things that diminished this book for me. I felt overwhelmed by boxing descriptions and found myself glossing over them. I do think boxing is a nice metaphor for this coming of age story. The reader sees Karl’s going from a undisciplined fighter to well-trained boxer just as he learns to overcome his youthful impetuousness on his way to becoming a more thoughtful man. My other problem was the language. It was just too modern. People in the 1930s simply did not use many of the clichés used in today’s world - such as “at the end of the day.” I felt these clichés happened too often and it took away some of the authenticity of the novelOne this of note: Sharenow writes that he was inspired to write The Berlin Boxing Club by the true story of Max Schmeling helping to save the lives of two Jewish boys by hiding them in his hotel room until he could secure passage for them to escape to the US. This act of kindness and heroism had remained unknown until 1989, when one of the boys, Werner Lewin, invited Schmeling to the US to thank him. Robert Sharenow was awarded the 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Reader Category.This book is recommended for readers age 13 and upThis book was borrowed from 67th Street Branch of the NYPLBe sure to visit Robert Sharenow’s website for a wonderful Discussion Guide on The Berlin Boxing Club**Lots of wonderful German Expressionist artists, besides Georg Grosz, are mentioned in this book, and in his list of Sources, Sharenow mentions the Neue Galerie as a great place to see the works of some of these artists, so do visit if you are ever in NYC, and try the wonderful old world brunch at the Cafe Sabarsky, one of my favorite things to do on Friday morning

  • Chelsea
    2019-04-05 14:37

    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 famous boxer, Max Schmeling, walks into Mr. Stern’s art gallery, Karl’s world turns around. After seeing that Karl had been beaten up by the Wolf Pack at school, Max decides to give Karl some boxing lessons. He starts training everyday at home until he is finally ready to start training at the Berlin Boxing Club. Here no one knows he’s Jewish. He meets new people that push him to his limits like Neblig. Unfortunately Karl only gets to box in two matches before his identity is exposed. This book is written from Karl’s perspective. The author made a good choice to put the book in Karl’s perspective because I think that if it were to be in any other character’s perspective there would be no story. If the book was written in Hildy’s perspective we might get little to none about Karl’s boxing experience or how he felt at home. If the book was written in the mother’s perspective then we would see how depressed and upset she is by what is going on in Germany. The two other characters in the book I could really see somewhat of a story out of is Mr. Stern and Max Schmeling. If the book were written in Mr. Stern’s perspective we could follow him and get insight on all of the secrets he keeps from his family and also what his experiences in the war were like. He tended to keep to himself a lot and is a very secretive and private man throughout the whole book. Max Schmeling would be another character to write a book’s perspective from because he is the famous boxer of the story. He gets invited to dinners with Hitler and Mayor Goebbles, but if this story were to be written in his perspective it would be more of a glory story than anything. We wouldn’t understand the pain that the Stern’s are facing since they are Jewish. I think that the author had many options for this book, but I believe that he made the write one by putting the book in Karl’s perspective. The perspective of the book changes quite a bit throughout this book. At first Karl is happy that no one has found out he was Jewish and everything was okay for him. He had acquired a girlfriend, he was doing well in school, and he had great friends. When the war started and everybody started following Hitler’s lead, there was no more luck for Karl. Karl had become afraid but brave at the same time. He wasn’t afraid to walk alone outside, for he had learned how to box from Germany’s best boxer. He also wasn’t afraid to secretly give the Countess her invitations that were illegal according to the Nazi rule. However, he was afraid of being taken by the Nazis. He also was confident enough to keep his identity from Neblig and the owner of the Berlin Boxing Club. It is good that the perspective of Karl has changed throughout the book because as he brings the reader along with him through his journey the reader feels the emotion too. If Karl’s perspective were to never change the book would be boring and flat. By having the book “bounce” from perspective to perspective it adds life to the book. These changes tell me, as the reader, that the character, Karl, can have many personalities and emotions. If he were an emotionless character then maybe he wouldn’t have so many perspectives. It also tells me that the events in the book have affected him as a character. If Karl had never met Max and started getting lessons, he might not have been confident and brave like he ended up being. He might have become the character who is scared to take a risk here and there, but Karl wasn’t because of what had happened in the book. My perspective changed throughout the book basically whenever Karl’s changed. When Karl had to beat up the Hitler Youth that were trying to attack his family, it changed my perspective. I became more confident that Karl had learned how to use his skill as a boxer and take down anyone that came in his way. When his girlfriend broke up with him, I could also feel the pain that Karl was. When Karl boxed, I could feel the anger that was in him and I became to feel it too. The author did a very good job on making connections between the characters and the readers so that they would feel the same way throughout the book.I recommend this book to seventh graders and above. I recommend this book to seventh graders and older because some of the words in this book are very complex. I am an eighth grader and I couldn’t even understand some of the words in this book. Another reason I would recommend this book to seventh graders and older is because some of the scenes in this book are very serious and emotional. I found myself to cry at a few parts of the book. As a sixth grader, I think that it would be an overwhelming experience to read “The Berlin Boxing Club”.

  • Yuko86
    2019-03-28 17:21

    La stella nel pugno è un romanzo di formazione ambientato nella Germania degli anni ‘30, in cui ci vengono narrate le vicissitudini di un giovane ragazzino ebreo la cui vita viene stravolta dal regime.Inizialmente la vita di Karl è identica a quella di tutti i bambini tedeschi, e prosegue tranquilla anche durante la diffusione dei primi moti d’odio nei confronti degli ebrei grazie al suo aspetto ordinario e al fatto che la sua famiglia non è praticante. Ma quando alcuni ragazzi della sua scuola vengono a sapere la verità sulle sue origini, cominciano le prese in giro e i pestaggi. Karl è esile, mingherlino, e non molto coraggioso: l’unica sua arma è la fuga, ma purtroppo non sempre essa è sufficiente. La sua vita cambierà quando il grande campione Max Schmeling gli offrirà delle lezioni gratuite di Boxe in cambio di un quadro della galleria di suo padre: prima ancora che dare a Karl la possibilità di difendersi, Max, con la sua proposta, gli fornisce una speranza e uno scopo da perseguire. E il giovane ebreo prende alla lettera tutti i consigli del campione, diventando un buon pugile. Ma le persecuzioni nei confronti degli ebrei si inaspriscono e Karl è costretto a fare i conti con la dura realtà. Purtroppo i suoi guantoni non bastano per salvare la sua famiglia. Non bastano i sogni. Attraverso gli occhi di Karl, inizialmente ai margini, seguiamo l’inasprirsi dei provvedimenti nei confronti degli ebrei e vediamo come cambino le persone, influenzate da Hitler e dalla sua ideologia. Persone fino a pochi giorni prima estranee al partito, in poche ore diventano membri fedelissimi, mentre coloro che non sono d’accordo con l’ideologia nazista rimangono ai margini, stando a guardare, senza intervenire per paura di ripercussioni: i pochi che si ribellano vengono subito arrestati e deportati. Ma vediamo anche come molti ebrei, inizialmente, non si rendano conto della portata del problema: lo stesso padre di Karl più volte ripete “Figurati se faranno mai una cosa del genere” per poi essere smentito entro pochi giorni dai fatti. Come può essere possibile che nessuno stato straniero sia mai intervenuto? Che tutti abbiano chiuso gli occhi di fronte a quello che stava succedendo? Se lo chiede il papà di Karl e me lo chiedo anch’io. I segnali erano ovunque, ma il mondo ha preferito far finta di niente. Una cosa che ho apprezzato molto di questo libro è la veridicità storica e il riferimento costante a fatti realmente accaduti: l’autore ha saputo ricostruire fedelmente non solo il contesto storico del momento, ma anche la “storia” della boxe, citando opere e pugili realmente esistiti, documentando con date e particolari i vari incontri di fama mondiale. Io non sono una fan di questo sport, ma mi è piaciuto molto il fatto che Sharenow abbia usato il ring e i pugili per rappresentare la società del momento: mentre negli USA i pugili ebrei erano dei campioni, in Germania un ebreo non poteva salire sul ring, neppure se era più forte; lo scontro tra Max Schmeling e Joe Louis diventa un combattimento tra la pura razza ariana e un essere inferiore e, mentre la vittoria può portare la vita di Max alle stelle, una sua sconfitta potrebbe determinare la sua fine. Molto interessanti e ben costruiti i personaggi, mi ha colpito in particolar modo Hildi, la sorella di Karl: nonostante sia più piccola del fratello, avverte di più la portata di quello che sta succedendo a causa del suo aspetto più “ebreo”, che la porta a essere identificata subito in mezzo alla folla. Anche i loro genitori sono personaggi ben curati e complessi: da una parte il padre apparentemente mollaccione che nasconde un passato onorevole, dall’altro una donna al limite dell’autodistruzione, corrosa dalla depressione. E poi c’è Max, il grande campione, che di fronte alla violenza del regime rimane neutrale e che, sinceramente, ha più di una volta scatenato il mio biasimo. Una menzione speciale per La Contessa e per Neblig, due personaggi squisiti, coraggiosi nonostante tutte le loro difficoltà.Il linguaggio è semplice e scorrevole e l’autore riesce a toccare tematiche importanti senza risultare mai pesante né saccente, con estrema delicatezza. Alle parole si alternano caricature disegnate da Karl, che, oltre al pugile, vorrebbe fare il fumettista e che spesso usa i suoi disegni per risollevare l’umore della sorella, oltre che il suo. In conclusione, un libro che consiglio a tutti: ai ragazzi che si avvicinano allo studio di questo periodo storico e agli adulti, che cercano un buon romanzo, coinvolgente e commovente.

  • Judah
    2019-04-10 12:33

    Have you ever had the thirst for a book that was moving, yet at the same time an easy read? Well, The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow is a magnificent multicultural book that fits this criteria. Multicultural books is a genre of literature. This genre is specific to each and every reader. Multicultural books is when the book's setting is foreign, or unknown, to the reader. An example of this is if an African reader was reading about a Native American tribe. The Berlin Boxing Club is a historical fiction book set in Germany before the war. Karl Stern, a fourteen year old living a pretty good life (his dad is a successful art dealer) has everything going for him. He is pretty good student, he has many friends, and even has something going with a girl he adores. However, his life is thrown upside down when the Nazi party rises to power. Karl's family is technically Jewish, although practically, they aren't. Karl himself has never set foot in a synagogue, has never prayed to God. Frankly, he could be considered more Catholic than Jewish. Even with this, he is still tormented. He can't go into specific stores. He is bullied at school by a group named The Wolf Pack. Even his father's art business had gone under due to the Nazis. Only one good thing has occurred in Karl's life during these tragic events that happened. Max Schmeling, a world famous boxer, is great friends with Karl's father. He agrees to take Karl under his wing, and train him in the art of boxing. This embarks Karl on a long, determining road, as Karl tries to become an experienced boxer, and a good one, too. Can Karl's new obsession help him overcome his new challenges in his life?While reading a multicultural book, I was a taken aback. I really enjoyed emerging myself into a new culture, because I learned so many new things about new cultures. For instance, I learned new techniques about what to do in the ring (the boxing culture). I also learned about the horrors of being a Jew in Nazi Germany (the Nazi Jewish culture) (i.e being 70 years old and being beat up on the street by 12 year olds). These are a few examples of different cultures that I learned about. Another thing I enjoyed about reading multicultural literature was the ability to connect to something foreign to me. While I was reading The Berlin Boxing Club, I was awed at the fact that I could put myself in Karl's shoes, even though that Karl was living in a totally different society than I was. Robert Sharenow did an amazing job at bringing the culture to the reader. I thought Robert Sharenow did an exquisite job painting the scene of Nazi Germany in the eyes of a Jew. The details and word choices he used really added to the story. This was definitely my favorite part of the book. However, I really disliked the actual plot in the book. I thought that Karl's personal story in the book was very cliche and corny, which I didn't enjoy. While I was reading the book, I felt a mix of emotions. I felt sorrow at certain parts (i.e when the anti-Semitic riots broke out), but I also felt happy (when he became better friends with Greta). I felt anger at the Wolf Pack for tormenting Karl because he was Jewish. I also felt proud of Karl for becoming such a great boxer. One of the important motifs in the novel was Karl's hand drawn comics. These comics were symbolic for hope, because, like hope, the comics were simple and easy to grasp. However, they gave Karl's little sister Hidely joy, and this gave Karl hope against the Nazi Regime. A major theme in The Berlin Boxing Club was that being a Jew in Nazi Germany was an exquisite challenge. This theme reweaves itself throughout the plot. In the beginning of the book, Karl is bullied for being Jewish. The theme reinstates itself later on in the story, when Karl's favorite art store (which is run by a Jewish merchant) is closed and destroyed by riots. The theme also finds its way into the text at the end of the book, when all of the anti-Semitic riots break out. These are some of the many ways Robert Sharenow emphasizes his message: that being a Jew in Nazi Germany was hell. I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a deep meaning from the plot, but doesn't mind when a book is corny at times. I would rate this book three out of five stars, because I thought Robert Sharenow could've made some of Karl's personal problems a little more mature, considering the setting that they took place in.

  • Drew Hahn
    2019-03-31 13:33

    I liked this book because it has a lot of humor and it was just very enjoyable. I had a really good plot and it was suspenseful every now and then and really interesting. I am really into war books, movies, and shows and I just find it cool what things were at the time. The characters were interesting and funny. I really enjoyed the humor in this book because it’s not like humor in other books. The characters back stories were interesting as well. For example, Karl’s father was from WWI and could have taken probably one of the highest awards possible yet turned it down. Anyway, this was my opinion on this book and it was very good I would definitely recommend this to a friend.

  • Ethan
    2019-03-23 17:20

    The Berlin boxing club was a very good book. It has interesting twist and turns. It was cool to see Karl overcome all the rough things thrown at him. It was sad to know that this was happening and who knows maybe this did happen to a kid to a tee and everything was the exact thing as in the book.

  • Amy Ziegler
    2019-04-12 14:38

    Imagine you live in a place where you're told you're scum. Everyone you've ever met starts to turn against you because you are what's wrong with the country. Why? You're Jewish . That's what happens to Karl Stern, a boy living in Nazi Germany just before World War II. Karl loves art and often helps his father with his art gallery. When a friend of his father's, a skilled boxer named Max Schmeling, offers boxing lessons as payment for a painting, Karl jumps at the opportunity. As he becomes more invested in boxing, Karl deals with the rising anti-semitism running rampant across Germany. Even though his family doesn't practice Judaism, his family history of the religion is enough to get him kicked out of school, evicted from the apartment where his family lives, and forces him to hide who he is from all of the other boxers. Karl's parents go to great lengths to keep him and his sister safe, but will it all be in vain? You'll have to read the book to find out. Throughout all of his struggles, Karl learns that sometimes the people we idolize aren't as great as they seem, and sometimes you have to be your own hero. I wanted to read this book because I like historical fiction set during World War II, and this book seemed interesting because it started before all of the hatred for Jewish people became serious. It was a different view of the situation than other books I've read about Nazi Germany. One way I was able to relate to the book was through the relationship between Karl and his little sister, Hildy. The way Karl looks out for Hildy and how close the siblings are reminds me of the relationship between my brother and I. This book definitely lived up to its promise. It was well-written and having a narrator who doesn't consider himself to be Jewish gave an interesting perspective on the situation. I definitely recommend this book. It's a little slow to start, but once it gets going this book just doesn't stop. It is exciting and also teaches you a bit about history. Even if history isn't your thing, there is enough of other things in the plot to keep you interested. This book is aimed at high schoolers, but I think anyone could enjoy it. If you enjoy history or coming of age stories, this is the book for you. It has just enough of both to keep any reader interested.

  • Trevor
    2019-04-17 14:29

    Over the past couple weeks I read “The Berlin Boxing Club” by Robert Sharenow. I thought it was a great book throughout. It is in the point of view of Karl Stern who happens to have Jewish heritage in the makings of Nazi Germany. He never thinks of himself as Jewish and keeps his heritage a secret, but somehow bullies at his school find out and harass him. In the beginning, his parents disillusion him to the situation his father’s art gallery has been put in by the Nazis. He starts out the book as a loser, but he gets the opportunity to get boxing Lessons from, the world famous boxer, Max Schmeling. While he is making his transition to a fighter, the Jews of Germany are dehumanized. By the end of the book riots erupt and he plays hero for his family. It is a fictional book with adventure, love, and heart break mixed in somewhere. While reading the book I was always wondering what comes next and if his actions would cause something in the future, but Mr. Sharenow seems to always keep you on your feet as to what comes next. The book is split into 3 parts. The first and third, I felt, were more exciting. While the second had less meaning and was more of a transition, between the two. The plot of Karl becoming a great fighter really resonated in me and I feel like it would do the same for other teens who read this. When he makes his transition from loser to boxer he mostly makes changes in his confidence and skill in boxing although he does bulk up a little. His endeavor is really inspiring because of how his parents don’t really support him and his teacher seems to forget about him, yet he still fights through it.The end of the book is a real cliff hanger leaving a lot of things up in the air. If Mr. Sharenow were to give the end of the book a happy ending it wouldn’t have made WWII seem so unsure. And if he were to have given it a happy ending it would’ve made it seem like there was no hope, but the way he ended was perfect. It would be very easy for someone to write a sequel to this and I hope he does.

  • Nima A.
    2019-03-24 09:39

    I just finished the Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow, a Realistic/Historical fiction piece set in Nazi Germany and based on the true story of legendary boxer Max Schmeling. The book follows a boy named Karl Stern who takes a great interest in cartooning from an early age and cherishes it throughout his life as a way to get away from tensions he faces. Karl is a frail boy and is beaten on a daily basis by a gang of bullies. This combined with the fact that he has a Jewish ancestry make him the target of verbal and physical insults. But one day, Karl's life is forever changed when Max Schmeling himself offers Karl lessons in boxing. The book really hit home with me because of the raw and emotional writing that really gets you sucked into the story. I just loved the way that Sharenow could get you laughing and crying on the same page. I also liked the vivid description of the boxing matches that Karl takes part in, and these scenes made me feel like I was almost in the rink cheering Karl on. Every now and then, The story breaks to include a comic strip that Karl drew. This gave me a chance to stop reading and also envelop myself in the pictures and stories that Karl had created. Despite all of the great aspects to the book, there were some things that I felt the author could really improve on. I didn't like the ending at all. It really resolved the issues in Karl's live way too fast for me. I felt like the author just scrawled down the first thing that he could think of and honestly took the easy way out of it. Another minor problem that I had was the pacing. Sharenow tried to cram 4 years of Holocaust history and Karl's life into a 400 page novel. A little longer would have been great. I would highly recommend this book especially to anybody that enjoys novels about themes such as "coming of age". The novel is perfect for young adults and mature readers alike, and there is something for everyone to take away from this one.

  • Emma F.
    2019-03-26 13:39

    The book The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow follows the life of one young Karl Stern during the rise of the Nazi party in Berlin, Germany. Other important characters include his younger sister, his mother, his father, and Max Schleming. The plot of this historical-fiction novel is based around the real-life boxing champion Max Schleming, who did actually help save two young Jewish children. Karl Stern is a Jewish teenager who looks nothing like the Nazi-propaganda posters say he should. As such, his life as a Jew in Germany is relatively easy, until a group of bullies (dubbed “The Wolf Pack”) attack him under the suspicion that he might be Jewish. As Hitler rises to power, he and his family have an increasingly hard time finding food, work, or money in a country that is slowly learning to hate them. Max Schleming, a friend of Karl’s father and a boxing champion, offers Karl boxing lessons after he notices how badly beat up he is. Karl accepts, of course, and the rest of the plot follows his journey to become a champion despite the prejudice he faces. The main conflict is when things go especially wrong for his family and living in Germany is no longer safe. The resolution to this conflict is realistic for its setting, but left much to be desired, as it seemed rather open-ended and unresolved. However, given the circumstances, it was the most realistic ending the book possibly could’ve had.I rather enjoyed The Berlin Boxing Club. It had interesting characters and an even more interesting setting. Watching Karl grow as a character throughout the story is especially satisfying, as he slowly comes to terms with being Jewish and standing up to the Nazi party. The ending was a bit disappointing at first, but after considering the setting, it became clear to me that a traditionally happy ending wouldn’t be fitting or authentic at all.

  • Alexander
    2019-04-19 10:20

    This was an unbelievable book. It was a truly touching, inspirational story, and a great eyeopener to the horrors that were performed during the great depression.Alongside that fact, a couple specific sentences really hit home for me. The first one appeared after his parents had a major fight around page 180. "Race and religion didn't seem to matter in the ring, or if they mattered, they were points of pride or distinction." This one has a really strong meaning, even if it were unintended. It goes without showing how messed up the social system and economy was then, and still today. It says that ethnicity or religion should never be looked down upon. I believe that what a person holds dearest to them is their beliefs, and when those are mocked and destroyed, what do they have left? All boxing comes down to is sheer strength and will. Anybody who scrutinizes another human for their beliefs is completely unethical, in every religion or culture. It doesn't matter where or who you are. In the end all that matters is your heart and your decisions. And if you are so low as too denounce and judge anothers heart, then your heart or soul or whatever you believe in, is much more corrupt than whatever flaw you falsely detected in theirs."With mounting fears of another world war on the horizon, the rematch at Yankee Stadium was no longer about two men but about two nations and two worldviews: fascism versus democracy, racial purity versus diversity, oppression versus freedom."This is another strong one that I believe depicts the enormity that the world made the fight between Max Schmeling and Joe Louis out to be. Of course after the victor of this rematch battle, the book never clearly followed up on the winner. Leaving me to my thoughts and the rest of a wonderful book to enjoy for the next few hours.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-24 17:28

    This powerful and thought-provoking novel set in Berlin from 1934 to 1938 dramatically chronicles the impact of Hitler's rise to power through the eyes of Karl Stern. After suffering a humiliating beating by some pro-Nazi bullies, the 13-year-old happily accepts the chance to be coached by Max Schmeling, the champion boxer he meets at a reception in his father's art gallery. Boxing has never been one of Karl's interests, but it becomes his main focus. Prior to his humiliation at school, drawing cartoons was his passion and they are cleverly interspersed in the story. He and his family are nonobservant Jews, and Karl even expresses anti-Semitic attitudes early in the book. But eventually politics and economics begin to overshadow everything in the boy's life. Much of the art at the Stern Gallery has to be sold secretly since the Nazis have banned it as degenerate. Karl's mother has periods of depression. As the entrenchment of Fascism grows, things become even more confusing. Karl admires Schmeling greatly, but becomes disillusioned by the boxer's association with Hitler and high-ranking Nazis. The gallery is destroyed on Kristallnacht when roving bands of Nazis smash windows of businesses owned by Jews. Karl's father is wounded and Karl and his sister run to a customer who risks a great deal to help them. Ultimately it is Schmeling who saves the two young Sterns and pays for their passage to America. This is an unusual story with well-drawn, complex characters, gripping history, and intense emotion.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

  • Matt Turner
    2019-04-16 16:33

    The Berlin Boxing Club was a very well written book by Robert Sharenow. This was the first book I have read by this author and since first impressions are key it's important to note that I would read another book by him. The book starts out with a boy named Karl who goes to school in Germany. He is a Jewish boy and boys pick on him constantly. One day a gang of boys beats him up."Franz threw several punches at my face, landing on my eye and the side of my mouth." (p.12) This is a quote from one of the first fights he gets into and also the fight where a famous boxer named Max takes notice of him.In the book Karl's father trades a painting to Max for Boxing lessons for Karl. Karl undergoes extreme changes to his lifstyle and trains everyday. Karl enters tourniments and wins them. Finally, one day he gets into a fight with someone touching his girlfriend. The man recognizes him as being a Jew and Karl and his family get thrown out of their apartment. "We moved down the block and saw a group of brownshirts kicking at an elderly Jewish man lying in the street." (p.353) Overall, I think that the main theme of this quote and the book was dehumanization because the book describes how badly the Jews were treated during the time of Hitler. In addition, the book shows comradeship as Karl and Max develope a close bond during Karl's lessons. In conclusion, the book is really good if you like books based around WW2 era. I would definetly recomend this book to a friend.

  • Nick
    2019-03-30 11:47

    Aimed at young adults, this provides a very different view of the oppression of the Jews under Nazi Germany. Karl doesn't think of himself as Jewish, even though his grandparents were. He's never been to synagogue, and his parents are non-observant. His father's only passion is for modern art, and he has taught Karl that the beliefs of Judaism are too old-fashioned.That doesn't matter to the Nazis, as they slowly change the laws and the rules of society. Karl's only escape is into the world of boxing, as his father knew the great Max Schmelling, Germany's greatest boxer. Max offhandedly offers to teach Karl, and Karl's life is changed by the odd combination of boxing and cartooning, the other way for Karl to escape the growing darkness of Germany.As the book mirrors the events in boxing, politics and even the development of the comic book, it becomes darker and more powerful, becoming a book you won't want to put down. Tightly based on historical events, and loosely on a real event in Schmelling's life, it becomes riveting and emotional, as Karl and his sister learn more about their own family and their world. This is an Anne Frank that boys will read and understand, and is close to being that important a book to read, even though some of the events are fictional. Its only weakness is that the mother's portrayal is oddly sketchy, as if more was planned and never written.