The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla

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Recommended by Naomi Murcutt (@NaomiMEnglish)

Form and genre: contemporary young adult fiction, prose

Length: 288 pages

Summary: The Boxer focuses on the life of a young Asian boy, Sunny, who has moved from London to Bristol. When he is the victim of a racially motivated attack, he joins a boxing club and befriends Keir, a white teen with a family who are involved in racist behaviour and link to the Far Right. The book follows their friendships and the strains this is put under.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Year 9 – some violence and use of offensive language during attacks.

Notable reasons for recommending this book:  I particularly valued the fact that the protagonist is gay, but that this is not the focus of the novel in this instance. It could be used to open up further discussion, but also indicates how any sexuality is normal. A gripping and authentic portrayal of a young Asian man.

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