My Corner Of The Ring

The Middle Grade Memoir of a Girl Boxer and Future Olympian. In this Lean-In style inspirational memoir, twelve-year-old Jesselyn Silva offers a ringside seat to girl power and what it takes to win in the ring and in life: punch by punch. Girl Boxer shows kids what it means to be true to yourself and stick with your dreams even when facing adversity and ridicule. Supported by her single dad, Jesselyn (JessZilla in the ring) first donned her boxing gloves at five years of age, making her one of very few female boxers in the country. Girl Boxer charts Jesselyn’s oft times exhilarating and heartbreaking journey to success in a male dominated sport where she struggles to find partners to spar with and combats the viewpoint that no one wants to see a girl fight. Despite an inhospitable environment, Jesselyn still has her sights set on the Olympics. With the help of her very dad, Pedro, who has instilled in her a strong work ethic, she just might make it. It is an exciting and motivational read that will provide kids with the roadmap and encouragement to accomplish whatever goals they set for themselves. Jesselyn’s positive can-do attitude and determination make this a must read.

A Fighting Chance

Miguel Angel, 17, has managed to stay out of gang life because of a generous man, known as Coach, who has established a boxing club in an abandoned packing shed. Miguel Angel reads about Muhammad Ali, and dreams of the boxing ring as a way to bring his family out of poverty. As the story begins, he and girlfriend Britney have just discovered that she is pregnant. The narrative alternates between Britney and Miguel Angel, drawing a sharp contrast between the lives of her ultra-rich celebrity lawyer father and their family, and Miguel Angel’s impoverished life in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother and five stepsiblings.

Jimmy The Greatest!

Jimmy lives in a small Caribbean town where there’s not a whole lot to do. Fortunately though, there is a boxing gym, and one day the owner, Don Apolinar, suggests that Jimmy start training. He also gives Jimmy a cardboard box full of books and newspaper clippings all about Muhammad Ali. Jimmy reads and re-reads as he never has before. He is swept with admiration for Ali who said, “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” He starts to feel good, realizing that he doesn’t need to have a lot of fancy stuff, that he’s a pretty good boxer himself, and that he can look forward to the future. But by the time Don Apolinar has to leave for the big city, Jimmy realizes that he can have a great life running the gym, creating a library, dancing and boxing . . . right where he is.Jairo Buitrago’s simple yet inspiring story is complemented by Rafael Yockteng’s funny, expressive illustrations, making this a book that will speak to many young readers.The Spanish edition, ¡Jimmy, el más grande!, was recently named one of “Los mejores libros del año” (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela’s Banco del Libro.