Great Illustrated Books

At Gleason's Gym

By Ted Lewin

Roaring Brook Press, 2007
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 5-10
ISBN: 9781596432314

Follow nine-year-old boxing champ Sugar Boy Younan as he spends a Saturday in Brooklyn training with other athletes—kids and adults, male and female—in "the most famous boxing gym in the world." Combining a poetic descriptive text, gritty, realistic watercolors, and shaded pencil sketches, this evocative picture book envelops the reader in a you-are-there experience of the sweat, excitement, noise, intense concentration, and fun of sparring in the ring. Lewin was himself a professional wrestler as a teen; his admiration and respect for the "music of the gym" captures and humanizes an unfamiliar world. Your listeners can compare how they've trained and sweated for their favorite sports.

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Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (and What the Neighbors Thought). Harcourt, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-0152008062

Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman. Harcourt, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0152020989

Nevius, Carol. Karate Hour. Marshall Cavendish, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0761451693

Piven, Hanoch. What Athletes Are Made Of. Atheneum, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1416910022

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Critics have said

This book is as much about feelings as it is about action. Although words like friendship, determination, devotion, and love aren't stamped across the pages, they are still there.
Ilene Cooper, Booklist
You can practically smell the sweat and- thanks to the sound effects artfully graffiti'd on various pages- hear the thump, thump of the heavy bags, the ratatatatatat of the speed bags and the buzz of the buzzer starting the round.
Book World
Still, aspiring fighters and youngsters with an interest in boxing will appreciate witnessing Sugar Boy's tireless training from ringside seats.
Publishers Weekly
The naturalistically painted images are more effective than photographs in conveying information while evoking emotion.