Robert Lipsyte graduated from Columbia University and began working as a copy boy for the sports section of the "New York Times." Soon afterwards, he had his own sports column and eventually a television program, "The Eleventh Hour." As host of that program, he met boxing manager Cus D'Amato and it was this meeting that prompted Lipsyte to write his first young adult novel, THE CONTENDER, which is about boxing. Lipsyte waited 10 years before publishing his next work for young adults, ONE FAT SUMMER, which was a reflection on his own childhood and was followed by two sequels--SUMMER RULES and THE SUMMERBOY. In 1991 he returned to the world of boxing with THE BRAVE, which reintroduced the character of Albert Brooks, who readers first met in THE CONTENDER nearly 25 years earlier. In 2001, Lipsyte was named the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.
"Though this one doesn't pack the wallop of RAIDER'S NIGHT...Lipsyte delivers another thoughtful, entertaining sports drama."
"...Lipsyte's storytelling is riveting, his characters are complex and nuanced, and the suburban ambience he recreates is spot-on. With its neglected teenagers, its distracted and overworked adults and its scheming, self-serving authority figures who excuse their every transgression in the name of "security," the suburb of Ridgedale could be a metaphor for America in the 21st century."
From the Publisher
Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.
Baseball is Mike's life, and he is poised to become the center fielder of his varsity team during junior year. However, the arrival of an opponent in the form of Oscar Ramirez screws everything up for Mike, and suddenly his once orderly life is thrown into chaos. He breaks the rules, gets punished, and finds himself helping out with the computer club as punishment. There, Mike hangs out with Katherine Herold, a sharp-tongued, fascinating girl, who is far more interesting than his cheerleader girlfriend. When Mike's coach asks him to do something illegal, things get even more complicated, and he finds himself questioning his loyalties. Robert Lipsyte is the author of THE CONTENDER. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a 2010 Notable Children's Book.