In the story, Max Schmeling, a (true life) champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with teenager Karl Stern’s father to give Karl boxing lessons. But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl longs to ask his new mentor for help, but with Max’s fame growing, he is forced to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, leaving Karl to wonder where his hero’s sympathies truly lie.
The Berlin Boxing Club is an imprint of Harper Teen, but we know adults that are reading it too. Sharenow’s first novel, My Mother the Teenager, which examines segregation in New Orleans, is currently being developed into a feature film by Julia Roberts’ production company, Red Om.
Sharenow’s website includes tips for teens and adults interested in writing historical fiction, as well as video of Max Schmeling in the ring in Madison Square Garden in the 1930’s: