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Paperback Sunday You Learn How to Box Book

ISBN: 1442474726

ISBN13: 9781442474727

Sunday You Learn How to Box

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Strength and resilience fuel an urban teen's fight for survival in this acclaimed novel from Bil Wright that "delivers a knock-out punch" ( Venus Magazine ). Fourteen-year-old Louis Bowman lives in a boxing ring--a housing project circa 1968--and is fighting "just to get to the end of the round." Sharing the ring is his mother, Jeanette Stamps, a ferociously stubborn woman battling for her own dreams to be realized; his stepfather, Ben Stamps, the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

ryan(learn to box)

This was by far my most favorite book. I'm glad I found it at the bookstore on a stand. This book tells how it was to live in the New York projects as well as telling how it is to live for Louis Bowman. Louis Bowman is a young boy who lives the life of an outcast who gets beat up every day of his hostile life. His mom worries about the young boy and tells her newly found husband to teach the young loser to box. Louis's dad died a few years back since then his mom dated other men in high places so she could make a living. She decides to marry a tall business man named Ben. Ben was not all he was cut out to be. He was mean and stubborn. He always looked down at young Louis. Louis later makes friends with a local hoodlum. The hoodlum later gets in a fight where Louis helps (lucky Ben helped him). His gangbangin friend later goes to jail but is soon released. This also tells of Louis's unusual fantasy about the young hood. Despite his insane feeling he makes by and by and lives to be a pretty well played man. In his mid teens Louis also befriends a businessman on a train. He is later driven home by this fellow subway rider, but they stop at this apartment and Louis experiences something he never thought he would. The evil stepfather later tries to walk out on Louis and his family (Louis gets a baby sister). His mom is desperate to keep this husband to the end and follows him and jumps in the car. Louis, afraid he'll never see his mom again jumps in Ben's car leaving his infant sister alone in the house. They drive for about half an hour, the whole time Louis's mother is yelling at Ben who seems not to notice. His mom lashes out at Ben while Ben casually blocks and pushes her away. Louis seeing his mom being abused also hits ben. This makes Ben very angry and he hits Louis in the face leaving a mark this causes a very tragic ending. I liked this book because it was very graphic and detailed. It was awesome and very revealing.

An Excellent First Novel

I want to thank my neighbor who gave me this book after she had read it and said to me: "You'll love it." I did love it. After I read it, I found myself repeating Louis Bowman's name in my head--there's definitely a ring to his name. Wright captures wonderfully the coming of age of Louis Bowman through his descriptions of Louis's family life and life within the projects, as well as Harlem. It's a dynamic world that Louis live in and Wright captures every nuance of it perfectly. The novel was a treat to read, and hopefully we'll see more novels to come from Bil Wright.


"Sunday You Learn How To Box" is a tale of a boys loss of innocence in the ghettos of New York, bittersweet tale of first love, and the ways in which we deal with it. Fourteen-year-old Louis Bowman survives in the housing projects with his mother, a very stubborn and proud woman who gives new meaning to the phrase "tough love", and her most recent "saviour", a man who becomes Louis' stepfather all too soon. They exist within the confining walls of a tenement apartment, one which comes to resemble a boxing ring, both figuratively and literally. The three feint and joust their way through their lives, trying hard to stay out of one another's path, and yet achieve their dreams and goals. For each,these are very different, and it becomes survival of the fittest for all. Louis, the narrator of this story, soon finds out that life isn't always easy when it's fight or die...especially when he begins to feel emotions that he doesn't understand for the neighborhood "hoodlum", Ray Anthony Robinson. Against the odds, he moves through his life, managing to keep his sanity intact and not get himself killed in the process. Wright tells his tale in deft and wholly believable prose. Not since April Sinclair's "Coffee Will Make You Black" and "Ain't Gonna Be The Same Fool Twice" has there been a more poignant coming-of-age story told with such evocative imagery and lyrical rhythms. Highly recommended! Comes with reading group guidelines and questions in the last pages.

This is a no put down book!

i gotta tell u, this is one of the most compelling,well writtten books i hav ever read. i could not put this book down. This insight to a fictional charachters life is so riveting. bil wright i applaud u!

A real triumph.

Sunday You Learn How to Box is one of the most compelling books I've read. From the first paragraph it is impossible not to be thoroughly drawn into Louis Bowman's journey through adolescence. This is by no means a book for young adults, though that audience will find insights which will certainly hit home. In fact, so universal is Bil Wright's world that all readers will have flashes of startling recognition. The many characters in the book are so well drawn that even those who are not necessarily admirable are given a dimension which allows us to feel deeply for them. It is by turns gripping, funny, heartbreaking and inspiring. If you are looking for a book which is virtually impossible to put down, this is it. Let's hope Bil Wright is working on his second novel.
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