Monday, June 24, 2019

MMGM- Cover Reveal and War in the Ring

I absolutely ADORED Jason Henderson's Young Captain Nemo (March 12th 2019 by Feiwel & Friends), so was super excited to be asked to host the cover reveal for book two! Here is the cover, in all its glory!

Florio, John and Shapiro, Ouisie. War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight between America and Hitler
June 25th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
E ARC from Edelweiss

Boxing during the first half of the twentieth century was an odd mix of glamour and seediness. It was a way for hard working, impoverished young men to earn phenomenal money and gain prestige, but it was also a tough life. Joe Louis was born in Alabama, and his family moved to Detroit for a better life. He was able to use his natural abilities, get trained in boxing, and improve his situation. Max Schmeling, born in Germany, also used boxing as a way to provide a better income for himself, but because of Hitler's horrible hold over Germany, was cast into the role of a villain. Their competition took on mythic proportions in the US, as Louis was seen as the embodiment of the American spirit, and Schmeling as the embodiment of Hitler's evil plans for Germany.

This offers a good picture of the background of both men, as well as the general state of boxing at the time. It's interesting that there is a WORLD title for boxing, and that everyone seemed to care about it. Boxing seems to have gone out of favor, and for good reason. I looked at the list of Heavyweight Boxing Champions, and had to go back to 1987 to see a familiar name; Mike Tyson. This book does a great job of putting the sport into historical perspective and tying it into the conflicts of World War II.

I also appreciated that Schmeling is portrayed as a generally good guy; even though he was seen as the embodiment of Nazi ideals, he always denied any connection to the party. He even helped two young men escape the Nazis. I had friends who grew up as Hitler was rising to power, and while they didn't agree with anything he had to say, there were not many opportunities for them to actively resist what was being done to their country without endangering themselves and their families. This is a tough part of understanding Germany during WWII; while there are plenty of people like Sophie School and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood up against Hitler, there were scores of other Germans who did not.

This is a great length, moves quickly, and fully covers an interesting moment in history. I think my favorite part of the book might have been the notes at the end; the authors do a great job at not only citing their sources but in telling how they used those sources. What a great example for young readers! Definitely buying a copy!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.


  1. I am not a fan of boxing, but I am a fan of history and WW II stories. I do think I would enjoy reading this book. Many people weren't aware of what Hitler was doing at first, especially wives of soldiers. It is an interesting conflict. Not everyone has the courage to resist and look to survival. Thanks for the thorough review!

  2. A sequel is coming for Young Captain Nemo! You made my day and the cover looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing on our MMGM.

  3. Awesome that you're revealing the cover for book 2. I like it. It makes me want to read the book. Not a fan of boxing, but this book looks interesting for those who are into it.

  4. Ooh. The Joe Louis book looks good. And I'm not super into boxing either.

  5. It's always fun to reveal a cover. That looks like one that will attract kids. Max Schmeling -- now there's a name you don't hear every day. This sounds like an interesting read. I will try to check it out.

  6. Thank you, Karen! You rock! I can't wait to get you a copy of Quest for the Nautilus!