January 8, 2014

Little person packs quite a punch

The Manager
by Caroline Stellings

Tina is short, just three foot eleven and a half, yet she makes quite an impression. Tough and acerbic, she's the complete opposite of her sister Ellie, who's just so normal.  Ellie is not at all interested in boxing; she'd rather read Seventeen magazine. Meanwhile her father tries to run his gym without Tina's interference. Eventually their clash of wills get to be too much, and Tina takes off, dragging Ellie along for company. Tina's headed to Boston, where she plans to undergo a risky operation to make herself taller. Along the way, she and Ellie meet Jesse Mankiller, a Mi'kmaw light heavyweight from Millbrook, Nova Scotia. In Mankiller, Tina sees a fighter who can go the distance and she can make it happen by becoming his manager.

A fast-paced novel filled with interesting characters, including an Irish mobster. The boxing scenes are vivid without being too brutal and the dialogue is often caustic and sharp. Tina is a tough, no-nonsense protagonist that many teens will enjoy.

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