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The Chief Paperback – March 4, 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Contender Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The final installment of the trilogy begun with The Contender and The Brave is "guaranteed to raise more than a few goosebumps," according to PW's starred review. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)q
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

In a third episode, larger-than-life boxer Sonny Bear fights battles in and out of the ring--and within himself--on his climb to the top. Cheated of his amateur title at the end of The Brave (1991) and disgusted by a series of crooked local fights, Sonny is ready to throw in the towel when he lands a job as sparring partner for an aging boxer making a quixotic comeback attempt. The resulting press attention takes him to L.A. and TV producers' fantasyland, but he turns away from the life of a lotus-eater to solve a violent dispute over legalized gambling back on the reservation. Part of the ensuing compromise is a scheduled bout with the heavyweight champ at the new casino. Sonny's rise to fame is seen through the eyes of Martin Witherspoon, an overweight black college student and would-be writer who, like his well-muscled friend, wrestles with self-doubt but rises to the occasion at need. Sports-journalist Lipsyte writes authoritatively about the world of boxing, moving his story at a headlong pace with pulse-pounding action scenes and providing characters with cocky dialogue; by concluding moments before Sonny enters the ring, he forces readers to consider his larger themes. Memorable sports fiction. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064470970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064470971
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I really liked robert Lypsyte's book The Chief. It really gave me a feel for the characters. It also made all of these emotions towards the characters surface, which I really like in a book. The author makes you have feelings for the characters. He makes you really want the characters to either succeed or fail, but there is not any room for an "I don't care" character. All in all I think everyone should read this book, because it is truly an example of great writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really liked the book “The Chief” because it was a mix between what the story was about and how it was told by Robert Lipsyte. It started off the main character Martin Witherspoon doing the sport he loves to help save his reservation. Over time Martin progress’s in the sport and later finds himself wanting more than just saving his reservation. His new goal is to be the boxing champion and save his reservation. He had the determination to do it. The story changed through the eyes of the character by setting goals for himself and then adding more goals to that one goal to keep himself achieving more and working harder to reach those goals. A theme I found throughout the book is to follow your goals even when people try and stop you. This is shown in the book when Martin is facing his final boxer before he reached his goal. He was trying to stop martin from achieving his goals but martin didn't let him do that. I recommend this book for ages 12-15. The book is a decent length and is kinda difficult.
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A Kid's Review on March 10, 2004
Format: Library Binding
The Chief
This book is about a guy named Sonny Bear who is a Cherokee Indian. He is a boxer who is struggling to get any good boxing matches after he cheated and was disqualified from a match that was for the championship. Ever since, he has been traveling all over the country with his manager/trainer Alfred, a guy named Jake who is a also a trainer and a guy named Martin Witherspoon looking for matches but are having a hard time finding any. Just when Sonny was about to quit Martin had an idea to go to Las Vegas and interrupt the championship match.
I didn't like this book because it was very hard to follow. Also boxing isn't one of my interest but if it is an interest to you then you will probably like this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is about a young boxer who struggles with finding himself in fame. Also about someone who stands up for what they believe in and does what's right. But all in all was a great book for fans of boxing and Robert lipstye
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Format: Paperback
Sonny Bear is half Native-American and is possibly in the running to become the youngest heavyweight champion boxer ever. His Native-American blood causes difficulty--he has to figure out where his loyalties lie, and he has to combat racism when he travels from town to town fighting.

Sonny Bear's friend Marty is traveling around with him, trying to keep him motivated to fight and recording his story in the form of a creative-writing project for a college course. Keeping Sonny motivated is becoming more and more difficult. He is disgusted with the home-town fights where everything is balanced against him. His tribe is also in conflict; there is talk of building a casino on their reservations, but not everyone is in favor of the idea.

Sonny needs to get his head straight and decide if he is really going to dedicate himself to the boxing title. Marty may be the only one who can help him get back on track.

This was a decent story, although not very in-depth. The characters, especially Sonny, were likable and interacted well. The conflict was too easily resolved, though, and Sonny's authority was too easily recognized by the angry older members of his Nation.
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