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The Ring Paperback – May 31, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: WestSide Books (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934813605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934813607
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,153,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—Missing the dead mother she barely remembers and feeling that she's a disappointment to her father, Mardie, 15, has embarked on a path of self-destruction. She is arrested after getting drunk at a party, is letting her grades slip, and is finally busted for shoplifting. Her salvation is a girls' boxing club that she joins on a whim, but it quickly begins to give focus and purpose to her life. As she gains confidence in her abilities, Mardie learns to accept herself and others. First-time novelist Pyron gets many of the details of high school life right, and Mardie's smart, sassy narration rings true. There may be a few too many story lines what with a boyfriend who's pressuring Mardie for sex, a gay brother whom she outs to their family, a friend who thinks she's pregnant, another friend whose father is deployed to Iraq, a bully who wants to beat her up, and an inspiring disabled child whom Mardie works with at the center where she's doing community service. On balance, though, this solid effort may well attract an enthusiastic, if not overly large, audience.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


The Ring ...will be especially appealing to reluctant readers....Her training details...feel authentic, and her point on how boxing is different from 'fighting' is well made. --Booklist

...Well written,with sports scenes realistic enough for athletes...this novel should have wide appeal.Teenage girls will readily identify with Mardie and with her struggle to find herself through...women s boxing. --Voice of Youth Advocates

Mardie s smart, sassy narration rings true. --School Library Journal

More About the Author

Greetings to all my readers! I was born and raised on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. When I was young, I wanted to be a mermaid (or a frog) when I grew up. Instead, I became a librarian and a writer. I now live in Park City, Utah with my husband, three dogs and two cats. I write for teens because I love their honesty and courage. I love the fact that teens ask all the big questions: Who am I? How do I want to be in this world? Can I make a difference? Some of my favorite authors who address these questions in their books for teens include: Chris Crutcher, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, Pete Haughtman, E.L. Going, and Jerry Spinelli. Who are your favorite authors?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the Ring.

15yr old Mardie Wolfe is struggling to find her footing. The book opens with her being driven home by the police after being charged with drunk and disorderly conduct. While on punishment, Mardie is forced to go to the gym with her step mother, Amy. At the gym Mardie discovers boxing. On that first night she simply watched.

"On the drive home, I smiled in the dark, tapping my foot like a maniac. I loved the smell of sweat and leather in the training room. I loved the sound of the small hanging bag going bip-bip-bip, bip-bip-bip, and the dry slap aganist the floor." (From ARC)

Amy helps Mardie convince her dad its okay for girls to box. Mardie takes to the lessons but boxing isn't a sport that comes easy. Even though Mardie's discovered the ring, the chaos that is life doesn't stop. She still misses her mom who died in a car accident. Trying to do what she can to please her dad. Living in the shadow of her lacrosse star, older brother, Michael. A boyfriend who wants more then Mardie is willing to give. A bestfriend who won't return her phone calls. Those are only a few of the issues Mardie must deal with, and yes its a lot but somehow the author makes it work.

The transtions are smooth, the storylines uncluttered. There is something about Mardie I really liked. I could feel her frustrations and self doubt. Mardie is far from perfect, she outs her brother to their parents out of jealousy. Now the Wolfe family must adjust to this new truth. Mardie spent more time training, getting the technique down then in the ring. There was something very honest and fitting about that. I really enjoyed the time Mardie spent with Kitty the trainer and the other girls. All the training is leading up to a tournament in Denver.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NebraskaIcebergs on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
A story about a girl boxer? The idea didn't grab me. Why would I want to read about tough girls beating each other up? A story about a middle-class teenager who is headed down a path of self-destruction? I still felt skeptical: it's been done before in problem fiction and after school specials. After reading The Ring by Bobbie Pyron, I changed my mind on both accounts.

Fifteen-year-old Mardie at first seems like just another teen in trouble. Then we learn that Mardie lost her mom in an accident, hasn't adjusted well to having a stepmom, and every time Mardie messes up her dad berates that she's just like her mom. Like many teens, Mardie also isn't all that popular. A fact that she handles about as badly as most unpopular teens! She tries in all the wrong ways to get accepted: She dates a popular guy who is also a playboy, cuts classes with the result of failing grades, is arrested for getting drunk, and has to appear before for judge for shoplifting. By this point, you're probably thinking Mardie is just another teen with plenty of excuses for being in trouble and so this is yet another sob story pleading with us to understand her.

Not so. Her parents turn out to be not so bad. Her so-called perfect older brother has his own secrets. And even her friends are struggling with their own issues. Mardie is simply making some stupid choices, like many of us do when growing up. Then one day her step-mom takes Mardie to the gym, where she feels jazzed to see female boxers. I'm not. My reaction is like that of her dad: Boxing is too violent. I don't know why anyone would want to do that to themselves. When told by sparring mates that to make it as a boxer she needs to put on weight, Mardie echoes another reaction of mine: No way, I'm going to look all big and beefy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Dellecava on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mardie is one tough cookie bent on self-destruction. She's especially relatable because she makes mistakes--plenty of them as teens do. She connects to young women's boxing and the psychological aspects of the sport, and her confidence builds. I couldn't help but cheer for her (as well as wince when she took an upper cut). I especially admired Kitty and how she created a tight knit family of fighters with a safe place to let out aggression and make positive life decisions. Bobbie Pyron introduces readers to amazing characters as well as a fascinating sport.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By books4thesoul on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this read. What I liked most about the book is it felt so darn real. The author, Bobbie Pyron, doesn't skate around issues that real teens deal with. Drugs. Sex. Fights. Homophobia. You name it. Mardie, the main character, didn't always make the right choices. She stole, outed her brother in a mean way, and got mixed up with the wrong people. But what kid do you know that always does the right thing? That would be boring to read about the perfect kid. Her flaws didn't stop me from rooting for her. In fact, it made me root harder. I also like how the other characters weren't cliché. I'm a boxing fan and liked how she learned the sport from the ground up. It helped me to learn some things. The boxing action was very realistic. I could totally visualize it. And I loved Kitty, her trainer! She definitely had a positive impact on Mardie's life. So did boxing. I like how things wrapped up and felt satisfied. Completely.
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Format: Hardcover
Originally posted at [...].

The image of a girl in a plain white tank top with a pair of tomato-red boxing gloves trimmed in satiny black-the simple title, The Ring, placed directly in the center of her chest. Simplistic yet somehow provocative; her arms are up, her chin is tucked to her chest, and though you can't see her eyes, you can perceive her readiness to take on the world.

This was my first impression upon opening Bobbie Pyron's inspiring and unforgettable coming of age story The Ring, and I'm delighted to report that much like the image that engaged my attention, I couldn't put this fantastic tale of teen angst, love, forgiveness, acceptance, and learning to believe in yourself while getting comfortable in your own skin, down.

The troubled young woman presented in the beginning of The Ring is not a pretty sight, and at times, you won't like our misunderstood heroine very much. Mardie isn't perfect by any stretch. She's selfish, she's rude, and she's hateful to those that love her most. But ultimately, that's what makes her so real. Because really, what teenager doesn't strike out at those closest to them in an effort to gain notice?

Are Mardie's parents really so bad? No. But she truly believes that they are, to the extent that she continually lashes out and makes the entire family miserable. No one is safe from her rage. Not her idealistic father, her understanding step-mother, or her "perfect" brother who just so happens to have a weighty secret of his own. In her quest to eradicate the emptiness that is consuming her, Mardie attempts to drain away the happiness of those around her, even as the guilt of doing so devours her soul. The story isn't always easy to read, especially when Mardie is at her worst.
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