Knock Out is a really cool book. Seriously. I really, really, enjoyed this book. It’s all poetry, about a lad with a serious medical condition, who gets into boxing and finds himself feeling alive. A VERY well written book that I found myself immersed into and eagerly devouring the pages of.
I was talking with my contact at Raincoast Books about how much I enjoyed this book, but how every time I tried to get my lad interested in it, his eyes would glaze over. 🙂 So as much as it’s poetry, written for guys, my lad just wouldn’t go for it. 🙂
I am thinking though, that if you read it to a group of guys, without doing the, “it’s really cool poetry you just might like” spiel… you might get them hooked and wanting to listen to more. I’m not sure. It’s just a suspicion based on the quality of the poetry and writing found within the pages.
I read these lines to my hubby
"If you lived in a tent under someone's armpit that would be a one hundred percent accurate match for this locker room."
I hooted! He grinned and then shook his head.
I loved the conversations back and forth with his brother. It brought me back to the days when I didn’t know the words to say to my mother so I would write her notes telling her what was going on in my life. It’s a book full of a real boy with all the hurts and sorrows and joy that come with being a boy whose been ill. With a family hit with divorce and learning to be who you are, and learning to be who you will be. There’s so much hope by the end of the tale…. I just know it will all turn out okay.
Easy to read, I found the thoughts easily flowed from one section to the next. I found myself wanting to keep reading because it was funny and interesting. Interspersed among the lines were word pictures that just added to the flow, giving breaks in the lines of poetry and adding humour, as well as showing heart.
It’s a touching and fun, boy-oriented book that some girls might like too as there is just enough mom and friendship/relationship stuff in it to add that extra touch. Watching Levi mature in the few pages of this book made my heart smile.
What do I think?
Get this book….if only for yourself as an adult… you’ll find yourself delighted, amused, saddened, and understanding of the fears a child has who has been really sick and needs to mind his health. If you can get your boy child to pick it up and read it, or not hyper analyze it when you read portions of the text to him, you just may have your boy discovering poetry isn’t such a bad thing after all. 🙂
Knock Out K.A.Holt Chronicle Kids Hardcover, middle school, poetry, boys, coming of age, pages 244, for ages 10+ Reviewed for Raincoast Books. Where to find? Amazon Link.