My Review: This is a high interest, low vocabulary YA book about a very sensitive issue. Tyler is physically and emotionally abused by his alcoholic father. His mother, fed up with her husband, took his younger sister and left, leaving 12 year old Tyler behind. When he is beaten that night by his dad, he finally tells a teacher what is happening. He is moved into a group home that night and then goes to live with his paternal grandmother. He is angry, dislikes everyone, hates school and wants to be left alone. When he makes a really stupid mistake, he is arrested and his grandmother no longer wants him to live with her. Figuring he is heading off to jail, he is offered a lifeline. He’s taken in by the Conways and they both show love and acceptance – but that’s not enough – it’s when Wayne Conway shows him how to channel and control his anger by learning to box that he begins to think he can be good at something. He begins running, lifting weights, learning the moves, and the thinking behind it that help him develop some self-respect. As he begins to feel better he has other successes in his life. A great story to show how and why some people may act the way they do. It also shows how finding self-respect and love from others can save someone from a life of self-destruction. A great book for any high school library and especially for those reluctant readers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via netgalley.
Synopsis: Tyler Josten has never caught a break. Abandoned by his mother, physically and emotionally abused by his father, he grows up with a wild temper, fighting anyone he sees as a bully — including the police. When he gets into trouble with the law, his grandmother gives up on him, and he is placed in foster care to wait for his court date.
The Conways welcome Tyler into the kind of home he never imagined, one full of comfort and compassion. When Wayne Conway starts teaching him how to box, Tyler’s uneasiness with people caring about him begins to disappear. With a controlled outlet for the violence instilled in him, Tyler starts taking responsibility for his life and his actions. But he still has to be able to trust other people — and himself.