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Knockout

Review

Knockout

KNOCKOUT by K.A. Holt is an amazing story of personal growth. The main character, Levi, just wants to enjoy the seventh grade with his best friend Tam, the girl who has known him since kindergarten. Those two have always been inseparable, even when he has to make frequent hospital trips due to his severe respiratory issues. Levi’s mother and brother have always treated him delicately, as if growing older will cause him to break. Levi has accepted his condition, but he wants to explore beyond and see where his new found passion for boxing can truly go.

"KNOCKOUT is great story and a fast read. Written in a verse-poetry format, KNOCKOUT forces the reader to focus on the structure of the words in a fun and creative way...."

At home, Levi wants to connect with his older brother Timothy, who practically raised him from birth after their father left the family. Timothy learned the hard way on how to take responsibility and grow up, but it did not give him the opportunity to focus on his own path in life. Levi’s mother is also always working hard and worried of the million “what ifs” Levi will face in everyday life. She knows he is a bit on the small scale for his age, but she has a hard time seeing how big he truly is. Levi wants to become more than just what people see; more than just a health condition, more than just a skinny silly kid with a few jokes up his sleeve. When Levi’s father suggests he takes up boxing, he is at first hesitant to try it out. After a while, he becomes hesitant to admit that his dad was right. Now if only he knew how to tell his mother and brother the same thing without giving them a heart attack.

Boxing is Levi’s release. Everything makes sense and all forms of doubt goes away. He only focuses on his strategy to take down his opponent, and not overthink. His breathing and his brain are in synchronization with his fast feet and quick jabs. When the other boxes and coach sees the power of his punches, everyone is astounded by how strong this kid is. Levi loves boxing as much as breathing. He cannot stop thinking about the next time he goes to the gym. However, things become complicated when he needs to build lies on top of lies to support his reason for happiness.

KNOCKOUT is great story and a fast read. Written in a verse-poetry format, KNOCKOUT forces the reader to focus on the structure of the words in a fun and creative way, making visuals out of the literal words Levi says during his everyday thinking. K.A. Holt is known for her love of poetry, and KNOCKOUT engages the reader to process the emotions of many people who feel stuck, but want to grow. Each character learns how to accept their realities, and work through the limitations they all have. As Levi faces through the challenges in the seventh grade, he and everyone around him learn how to knock out their challenges together.

Reviewed by Emi Debos on March 26, 2018

Knockout
by K. A. Holt