Lipsyte, Robert 1938-
LIPSYTE, Robert 1938-
(Robert Michael Lipsyte)
PERSONAL: Born January 16, 1938, in New York, NY; son of Sidney I. (a principal) and Fanny (a teacher; maiden name, Finston) Lipsyte; children: Sam, Susannah. Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1957, M.S., 1959.
ADDRESSES: Home—New York, NY. Agent—Theron Raines, Raines & Raines, 71 Park Ave., Ste. 4A, New York, NY 10016.
CAREER: New York Times, New York, NY, copyboy, 1957–59, sports reporter, 1959–67, sports columnist, 1967–71, 1991–; New York Post, New York, NY, columnist, 1977; Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS-TV), New York, NY, sports essayist for program Sunday Morning, 1982–86; National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (NBC-TV), New York, NY, correspondent, 1986–88; Public Broadcasting Service (PBS-TV), New York, NY, host of program The Eleventh Hour, 1989–90; writer. Has also worked as a journalism teacher and radio commentator. Military service: U.S. Army, 1961.
AWARDS, HONORS: Dutton Best Sports Stories Award, E.P. Dutton, 1964, for "The Long Road to Broken Dreams," 1965, for "The Incredible Cassius," 1967, for "Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight," 1971, for "Dempsey in the Window," and 1976, for "Pride of the Tiger"; Mike Berger Award, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 1966; Wel-Met Children's Book Award, Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education, 1967, and American Library Association (ALA) Notable Book for Children 1940–70 includee, all for The Contender; One Fat Summer named a New York Times outstanding children's book of the year and selected among ALA best young-adult books, both 1977; New Jersey Author citation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 1978; Emmy Award for on-camera achievement, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1990, hosting The Eleventh Hour; ALAN Award, Assembly on Literature for Adolescents/National Council of Teachers of English, 1999; Margaret A. Edwards Award, Young Adult Library Services Association, 2001, for lifetime contribution to young adult literature.
FOR YOUNG ADULTS; FICTION
The Contender, Harper (New York, NY), 1967.
One Fat Summer, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.
Summer Rules, Harper (New York, NY), 1981.
Jock and Jill, Harper (New York, NY), 1982.
The Summerboy, Harper (New York, NY), 1982.
The Brave, Harper (New York, NY), 1991.
The Chemo Kid, Harper (New York, NY), 1992.
The Chief, Harper (New York, NY), 1993.
Warrior Angel, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
NONFICTION; FOR CHILDREN
Assignment: Sports, Harper (New York, NY), 1970, revised edition, 1984.
Free to Be Muhammad Ali, Harper (New York, NY), 1978.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: American Hercules, Harper (New York, NY), 1993.
Jim Thorpe: Twentieth-Century Jock, Harper (New York, NY), 1993.
Michael Jordan: A Life above the Rim, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Joe Louis: A Champ for All America, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
FICTION; FOR ADULTS
(With Steve Cady) Something Going, Dutton (New York, NY), 1973.
Liberty Two, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 1974.
That's the Way of the World (released under title "Shining Star"), United Artists, 1975.
The Act, 1982.
Scriptwriter for Saturday Night with Howard Cosell.
NONFICTION; FOR ADULTS
(With Dick Gregory) Nigger, Dutton (New York, NY), 1964.
The Masculine Mystique, illustrated by Tim Lewis, New American Library (New York, NY), 1966.
SportsWorld: An American Dreamland, Quadrangle (New York, NY), 1975.
(With Peter Levine) Idols of the Game: A Sporting History of the Twentieth Century, Turner Publications, 1995.
In the Country of Illness: Comfort and Advice for the Journey, Knopf (New York, NY), 1998.
Contributor to periodicals, including TV Guide, Harper's Magazine, Nation, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, and New York Times Sports Magazine.
Lipsyte's works are housed in the De Grummond Collection, University of Southern Mississippi, and the Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota.
SIDELIGHTS: Robert Lipsyte is part of what has been recognized as a revolution in young adult literature; his first novel, The Contender, maintains a place in the YA canon alongside S.E. Hinton's groundbreaking The Outsiders and Paul Zindel's The Pigman. Lipsyte, a journalist who covered sports for the New York Times from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, transformed the sports novel from its action-oriented model with predictable plot and one-dimensional characters into "a realistic, coming-of-age story with sports serving as a metaphor for the real action in the novel: coping with life," according to Jack Forman in the St. James Guide to Young-Adult Writers. The Contender started a trend in sports books for younger readers that focuses on characters who experience a transformation through a combination of hard work and adherence to ethics. His first novel continues to be popular with young readers, selling over 1.6 million copies in the years since its publication.
Not surprisingly, the majority of Lipsyte's books also involve aspects of athletics and, because of his experience as a sportswriter, Lipsyte is considered an authority in the field of children's sports stories. A typical Lipsyte hero learns somewhere along the line that winning is not the only goal. This theme is announced early in The Contender, when Harlem high school dropout Albert Brooks wanders into a local gym and is challenged by the words of its owner, Donatelli: "Everyone wants to be a champion. That's not enough. You have to start by wanting to be a contender. It's the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is an extra reward."
Lipsyte's boxing series, begun in 1967 with The Contender, was extended with The Brave in 1991, The Chief in 1993, and Warrior Angel in 2003. He has also penned a three-book series of "breezily funny novels" according to Forman, featuring the teenager Bobby Marks: One Fat Summer, Summer Rules, and The Summerboy. Additionally, Lipsyte has authored something of a romantic fantasy in Jock and Jill and a multi-layered novel about illness and ecology in The Chemo Kid, the latter a book that owes much to Lipsyte's own battles with cancer.
Lipsyte has also created five sports biographies for younger readers, including works on Muhammad Ali, Jim Thorpe, Michael Jordan, and Joe Louis. For adults, he has written two novels and several sports books, as well as penning In the Country of Illness: Comfort and Advice for the Journey, "a witty guide to the planet of pain which we must sometimes orbit or visit," as Kirkus Reviews characterized the 1998 work. Beyond his writing and journalism career, Lipsyte has also been involved in television, as a sports commentator and program host.
Lipsyte believes in providing realistic portraits of athletes who do not lead perfect lives solely because of their physical abilities, but must contend with ordinary problems in other areas of their lives. The author also feels the importance of success in sports should be downplayed because many people, especially youngsters who have not had the time to develop skills in other areas, may be humiliated when they are unable to display athletic prowess. In an article for Children's Literature in Education, he commented, "Sports is, or should be, just one of the things people do—an integral part of life, but only one aspect of it. Sports is a good experience. It's fun. It ought to be inexpensive and accessible to everybody." He added, "In our society, sports is a negative experience for most boys and almost all girls…. They're required to define themselves on the basis of competitive physical ability." According to Lipsyte, many sports programs are not fair because individuals with only average ability are quickly weeded out of the system. In short, Lipsyte contends that America's fixation on sports—what he terms "SportsWorld"—has created a nation of spectators rather than participants.
Apparently, no precedent of athletic participation existed in Lipsyte's family. Instead, intellectual pursuits were stressed due to the fact that both of his parents were teachers. Because the family's house contained many books, The young Lipsyte spent hours reading and decided early on to become a writer. He received an undergraduate degree in English from Columbia University in New York and planned to continue his education by attending graduate school. Yet, unpredictably, his career as a sports reporter began. In 1957, a few days after graduation from Columbia, he answered a classified ad for a copyboy at the New York Times, taking the job to help pay for graduate school. However, this job led to a sports-writing position with the paper, one that he held—with a short intermission for military service—until 1971.
Lipsyte began covering the boxing beat for the New York Times in 1964 and followed Muhammad Ali's career for more than three years. In his biography of the boxer titled Free to Be Muhammad Ali, the author categorizes Ali as "far and away the most interesting character in that mythical kingdom I call Sports-World." Ali's outspokenness—manifested in snappy, original sayings—also offered the author plenty of material with which to write stories. In Free to Be Muhammad Ali Lipsyte recounts episodes from the fighter's life and supplies illustrations of his charismatic nature. Mel Watkins, writing in the New York Times Book Review, categorized the work as "a thoughtful, complex portrait of one of America's greatest athletes" and added that the reader derives a sense of Ali's personality and "the affection and respect the author feels for him as an athlete and as a man."
Lipsyte drew upon his experiences as a boxing writer to produce his first novel for young readers, The Contender. The protagonist, Alfred Brooks, is an orphaned seventeen-year-old boy living in Harlem. A recent high school dropout, Alfred lives with his aunt and works as a stock boy in a grocery store. The work chronicles the metamorphosis of the aimless Alfred into a disciplined young man with long-term goals. He achieves this change by applying principles he learns while training to be a boxer. After months of training, Alfred enters the ring and wins several matches as an amateur. His trainer, Donatelli, sensing that Alfred does not have the killer instinct required to be a top boxer, advises him to quit fighting competitively. Alfred insists on fighting once more against a worthy opponent to see if he has the requisite courage to be a contender. Although ultimately losing the contest, Alfred discovers an inner resolve that will help him in everyday life. At the book's conclusion, Alfred has plans to go back to school and open a recreation center for the children of Harlem.
Publication of Lipsyte's first novel sent shock waves through the world of publishing. Here was a new take on an old genre: gone were the phony heroics of most sports stories and the emphasis of winning at any cost. Lipsyte presented, in Alfred, a character who loses in his athletic contest, but wins in life because of lessons learned.
The recipient of several awards, The Contender was also generally well received by critics. John S. Simmons, writing in Elementary English, noted that "Lipsyte has a done a masterful job of reconciling "controversial' issues with the realities of censorship" in the sometimes violent novel, and praised the author's realistic approach in which the protagonist's gains are "modest and his successes frequently tainted with fear, reproach, and self-deprecation." Susan O'Neal commented in the School Library Journal that "[a]dmirably, the author tries to portray Alfred's world through the boy's own eyes," and concluded that as a sports story, The Contender "is a superior, engrossing, insider's book." Saul Bachner, reviewing Lipsyte's debut novel in Journal of Reading, felt that for the classroom teacher, "Lipsyte's book is invaluable. More than one Alfred Brooks sits in our classes."
In the fall of 1967, Lipsyte left the boxing beat to begin writing a general sports column for the New York Times. In his 1975 part-memoir, part-sports history, SportsWorld: An American Dreamland, he remarked, "It was an exciting time to be writing a column, to be freed from the day-to-day responsibility for a single subject or the whims of the assignment desk. For me, after more than three years with Ali, the newly surfaced turmoil in sports seemed a natural climate." Responsible for three columns a week for the New York Times, Lipsyte had the freedom to choose his topics, but was still forced to adhere to stringent space limitations. "Professionally, there is a challenge, for a while at least, to creating within formalized boundaries. Over an extended period of time, however, it's a poor way to transmit information." The author also confessed in his memoir: "As that second year slipped into a third year, as the column became progressively easier to write,… I found I was less and less sure of what I absolutely knew."
Lipsyte's columns became the source for his 1970 work, Assignment: Sports, in which he edited his writings from the New York Times to appeal to a younger audience. In 1984, he revised the first edition to incorporate the changes in sports, specifically the emergence and acceptance of the female athlete. As with SportsWorld, Assignment: Sports serves as an historical guide of American athletics. The author provides an account of the Black Power protests in the 1968 summer Olympics and offers portraits of sports figures, including football's Joe Namath, boxing's Ali, and baseball manager Casey Stengel.
Reviewing Assignment: Sports in the New York Times Book Review, Sam Elkin noted Lipsyte's "skill of a fine fiction writer for nuance" in his sketches, and his "detached style and writing rhythms" that helped to make this sports book an "unsentimental report about sports figures and sports." John N. Conner praised Lipsyte's "careful control of language" and "ability to develop a well-rounded character through conflict with a sport" in his review in the English Journal. Conner concluded that he hoped Lipsyte's publishers "will soon give us more from this great talent."
Despite the acclaim his columns received, Lipsyte left the New York Times in the fall of 1971. During the next years he taught journalism at the college level, visited schools to talk about his books, wrote jokes for a television show called Saturday Night with Howard Cosell, and spent nine months at the New York Post writing a column about the people of that city.
Finally in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lipsyte returned to YA fiction with what he deemed a trilogy consisting of the books One Fat Summer, Summer Rules, and The Summerboy. The author shares similarities with his protagonist, Bobby Marks, who also comes of age in the 1950s and conquers an adolescent weight problem. Each book is set in a resort town in upstate New York called Rumson Lake, where Bobby's family spends each summer. Lipsyte presents the maturation process of his protagonist from the age of fourteen to eighteen. In the trilogy, Bobby faces problems, but overcomes them by relying on determination, hard work, and positive values. Critics have endorsed the novels for tackling adolescent dilemmas in a realistic manner and for offering believable first-person narration.
In One Fat Summer fourteen-year-old Bobby jumps off the scales when the 200-pound mark rolls by. But one summer, he takes a job at the resort mowing lawns and loses enough weight to make him feel better about himself. Along the way he battles a snide employer and a gang of local hoodlums. Jane Abramson, writing in the School Library Journal, felt that Bobby's "self-deprecating delivery where every joke is at his own expense is awfully funny," while Stephen Krensky commented in the New York Times Book Review that "the dramatic movement of Bobby's metamorphosis is effectively rendered."
The writing of this trilogy was interrupted when Lipsyte was forced to battle his own problems: in the summer of 1978 he was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, treatment proved effective, and he returned to a normal routine, publishing Summer Rules in 1981 and the final book of the "Bobby Marks" trilogy, The Summerboy, in 1982. Bobby is sixteen in Summer Rules and working as a summer camp counselor at Rumson Lake. There is a budding romance and a matter of conscience for Bobby to deal with in this "sophisticated … provocative and perceptive" story, according to Zena Sutherland in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Gail Tansill Lambert had high praise for the title in Best Sellers: "My enthusiasm for this book is boundless. Robert Lipsyte is the adolescent male's answer to Judy Blume…. He is a heavyweight in the field of children's literature…. Summer Rules leaves you feeling good about families, and about kids growing up."
In The Summerboy Bobby is eighteen and once again at the summer resort, this time working at a local laundry where co-workers dismiss him as a rich summer kid. He finally finds a place after he calls on his fellow workers to protest their unsafe working conditions and loses his job for his troubles. Norma Klein, reviewing The Summerboy in the Nation, noted that Lipsyte is one of a growing group of authors for young people adding a fresh, urban, and Jewish perspective to the genre. Dubbing Bobby Marks a "wry, introspective" protagonist, Klein went on to conclude that "Lipsyte writes books that teen-agers who loved Catcher in the Rye and don't know where to turn next will appreciate."
Jock and Jill involves themes of social responsibility and the use of pain-killing drugs in athletics. In the book, Jack Ryder, a high school pitching ace, breaks up with his girlfriend of two years to date Jill, a socially aware girl who has taken therapeutic drugs for emotional problems. He then joins Jill's coalition with Hector, an Hispanic gang leader, to lobby for better conditions in the poorer housing projects of New York City. Early in the work it appears that Jack has a perfect life, but it is gradually revealed that his younger brother is mentally retarded and his father cannot afford Jack's college tuition. Consequently, the protagonist, though receiving cortisone shots to relieve the pain in his arm, must rely on his pitching skills for a scholarship. As Jack prepares to pitch for his high school team in the Metro Area Championship in Yankee Stadium, he ponders his varying responsibilities to his father, coach, teammates, and the girl he has fallen in love with. Jack has the chance to be a hero in the game, but instead decides to use his platform to benefit Jill and Hector.
"This is not a sports novel," declared Earl Lomax in a review of Jock and Jill for the ALAN Review. "Baseball plays only a minor role in the novel, and the juvenile-sounding title is definitely misleading." Lomax concluded that the book "is frank in some places, but the central message of establishing priorities is very important to younger readers as well as older ones."
Following the publication of Jock and Jill, Lipsyte began another career as a television correspondent and took an eight-year break from writing books. In 1991, he published The Brave, a sequel to The Contender, his best-selling book. The author had received numerous letters in the years since The Contender's publication all posing a common question: "what happened next to Alfred?" The idea for The Brave's plot was formed while Lipsyte was on a journalism assignment at an American Indian reservation. There he met and talked with a young man who described his fear of being stuck on the reservation where high levels of disease, alcoholism, and unemployment existed. At the same time, he was also afraid of leaving the reservation and facing the "white" world and possible rejection and prejudice. Nonetheless, he ran away to New York City for a few days. Although he was caught and forced to return home, the action was one of personal triumph, and Lipsyte admired the boy's bravery.
In The Brave, Sonny Bear, a seventeen-year-old half-Native runaway, meets Alfred Brooks in New York City. Alfred is now a forty-year-old police sergeant who seeks to curtail drug trafficking in the city. Unwittingly becoming a pawn in the drug war, Sonny is rescued by Alfred, who also teaches him how to box. His boxing partner is Martin Witherspoon, a young African American with dreams of writing. Indeed it is Martin who is the putative author of The Brave. However, in the course of the action, Alfred is shot and paralyzed, and Sonny is stripped of his amateur status when it comes out he was paid for previous fights. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called The Brave "a gritty tale of a young man who learns to replace his anger with pride," while a Horn Book reviewer noted that the "boxing sequences in this powerful story hammer at our senses until we, too, feel Sonny's pain and rage and his strength."
Lipsyte again successfully fought cancer in 1991, and he was determined to write about the experience. The result was The Chemo Kid, the story of a teen with cancer. Instead of a book that teaches young people to accept death, Lipsyte's novel is an uplifting and often humorous take on illness. Fred Bauer is treated for a rare form of cancer and recovers, only to be left with superhuman powers as a result of the experimental chemotherapy he has undergone. He deals out justice to drug dealers, polluters, and bullies alike. He removes the problem of steroid drug dealing among athletes and corrects the local toxic waste problem his girlfriend Mara has been battling. Sutherland noted Lipsyte's "resilient" writing style in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, as well as the "convincingly juvenile" nature of Fred, the "interesting" medical material, and "cheering" family support. However, some reviewers, such as Colleen Macklin in the Voice of Youth Advocates, found the amalgam of medical story and fantasy "confusing."
Lipsyte revisits Sonny Bear and Martin Witherspoon in The Chief, "an easy-to-read sports story about Sonny's bid for the heavyweight championship," according to Betsy Hearne in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Sonny has not yet won any championships and is ekeing out a living on the professional boxing circuit. Acting as his publicist is Marty Witherspoon, fledgling novelist, who cuts a great deal for him with Hollywood: the chance to be a Native American actor. Just as fame and fortune are awaiting him in Hollywood, though, his reservation in New York is facing serious decisions about their gambling casino and he must decide whether to go to New York or Hollywood. Lipsyte leaves readers knowing Sonny is ready for the big fight, but not if he will become champ. "Lipsyte is a dynamic sports writer, with an ability to grip readers to the knockout," remarked Hearne. The Kirkus Reviews critic dubbed the book "memorable sports fiction," with "pulse-pounding action scenes."
In 2003 Lipsyte produced Warrior Angel, a sequel to The Chief. In this book, Sonny Bear has become the youngest heavyweight champion ever, but he is dissatisfied with the achievement. His promoter is cheating him, he is surrounded by hangers-on, and Bear feels like his career has been a failure. Then he receives strange e-mail messages from someone calling himself Warrior Angel. The messages, which encourage him to continue fighting and claim that Warrior Angel has been sent by God to help him, are really from troubled teen Richard Starkey. who has delusions and lives in a group home. When the boy runs away from the home and travels to see his hero, Bear signs him on as assistant trainer. Richard helps Bear prepare for his next title fight in unexpected ways.
Michael McCullough, reviewing Warrior Angel in the School Library Journal, found that Lipsyte "pulls no punches with the raw, real-life language." The critic for Kirkus Reviews praised Lipsyte's "muscular prose and vivid detail." Reviewing the book for Kliatt, Paula Rohrlick called it "a fierce, gripping tale," while Peter D. Sieruta in Horn Book noted "the intriguely enigmatic lead characters and hard-edged prose." Speaking to James Blasingame in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Lipsyte explained his enduring interest in boxing: "Boxing was the first sport I covered as a regular beat…. I also prefer individual to team sports to write about, probably because of the writer's lame conceit that boxers—who go before the world half-naked and alone to be judged—are somehow soul mates."
Lipsyte has also penned four biographies for young readers, two in 1993 and two in 1994. In Arnold Schwarzenegger: American Hercules he paints a picture of this actor and strong man, comparing him to Elvis and Muhammad Ali. A Kirkus Reviews critic called this biography a "revealing, fluidly written picture of a charming, manipulative, driven man." More sports oriented is Lipsyte's Jim Thorpe: Twentieth-Century Jock, a biography of "perhaps the greatest all-round male athlete in American history," as Lipsyte styled this Native-American superstar. Michael Jordan also gets the Lipsyte treatment in a "spectacular biography," according to a Kirkus Reviews critic, as does African-American boxer Joe Louis. More sports profiles for readers of all ages are presented in Idols of the Game: A Sporting History of the American Century, which looks at sixteen athletes whose careers had a significant impact on American culture. Gene Lyons in Entertainment Weekly called the book a "very lively and anecdotal … popular history."
In an interview with Walter Dean Myers in the School Library Journal, Lipsyte discussed why he prefers writing for young adults. "I find writing YA so much more attractive in a lot of ways," he explained. "I guess it's the messianic impulse. When you write for adults—and I think much of my sportswriting and health writing is for adults—you're either a genius or a jerk, depending on whether you stroke or ruffle their feathers. But kids are seemingly reading with an open mind. And you do have more of an opportunity to leave an impact on somebody's life, and I like that." In 2001, Lipsyte received the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association for his lifetime contribution to young adult literature.
Lipsyte, in his multifarious careers and battles with cancer, has shown himself to be as determined as many of his fictional protagonists. Reviewing the author's lengthy career, Michael Cart noted in his study of the author, Presenting Robert Lipsyte, that Lipsyte's place as a seminal figure in the evolution of modern young adult literature will remain unchallenged. That all his novels for young adults are still in print is final evidence that his books are as fresh and as timelessly relevant as when they were written."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cart, Michael, Presenting Robert Lipsyte, Twayne (New York, NY), 1995.
Drew, Bernard, The One Hundred Most Popular Young-Adult Authors, Libraries Unlimited, 1996.
Lipsyte, Robert, The Contender, Harper (New York, NY), 1967.
Lipsyte, Robert, SportsWorld: An American Dreamland, Quadrangle (New York, NY), 1975.
Lipsyte, Robert, Free to Be Muhammad Ali, Harper (New York, NY), 1978.
Lipsyte, Robert, Assignment: Sports, revised edition, Harper (New York, NY), 1984.
Lipsyte, Robert, Jim Thorpe: Twentieth-Century Jock, Harper (New York, NY), 1993.
St. James Guide to Young-Adult Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
ALAN Review, fall, 1983, Earl Lomax, review of Jock and Jill, p. 27.
Best Sellers, May, 1981, Gail Tansill Lambert, review of Summer Rules, pp. 79-80.
Booklist, June 1, 1993, p. 1814; December 1, 1993, p. 682; February 1, 1994, p. 1005; March 1, 1995, p. 1237; March 1, 1998, p. 1073; January 1, 2003, Ed Sullivan, review of Warrior Angel, p. 871.
Book World, November 5, 1967.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 1981, Zena Sutherland, review of Summer Rules, p. 156; February, 1992, Zena Sutherland, review of The Chemo Kid, p. 162; July-August, 1993, Betsy Hearne, review of The Chief, p. 351.
Children's Literature in Education, spring, 1980, pp. 43, 44, 45, 47.
Elementary English, January, 1972, John S. Simmons, "Lipsyte's Contender: Another Look at the Junior Novel," p. 117.
English Journal, April, 1971, John N. Conner, review of Assignment: Sports, p. 529; December, 1980.
Entertainment Weekly, December 8, 1995, Gene Lyons, review of Idols of the Game, p. 62.
Harper's, September, 1985.
Horn Book, March-April, 1992, review of The Brave, p. 209; September-October, 1993, p. 634; March-April, 2003, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Warrior Angel, p. 213.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, February, 2004, James Blasingame, review of Warrior Angel and interview with Lipsyte, p. 426.
Journal of Reading, May, 1981, Saul Bachner, "Three Junior Novels on the Black Experience," pp. 692-695.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1991, review of The Brave, p. 1225; May 15, 1993, review of The Chief, p. 664; November 15, 1993, review of Arnold Schwarzenegger: American Hercules, p. 1463; November 15, 1994, review of Michael Jordan: A Life above the Rim, p. 1535; February 1, 1998, review of In the Country of Illness, p. 175; December 15, 2002, review of Warrior Angel, p. 1853.
Kliatt, March, 2003, Paula Rohrlick, review of Warrior Angel, p. 13; March, 2004, Paula Rohrlick, review of Warrior Angel, p. 20.
Nation, November 12, 1983, Norma Klein, "Not for Teens Only," pp. 312-314; May 25, 1985.
Newsweek, November 24, 1975.
New York Review of Books, October 30, 1975.
New York Times, November 7, 1988.
New York Times Book Review, November 12, 1967; May 31, 1970, Sam Elkin, review of Assignment: Sports, p. 14; November 8, 1975; July 10, 1977, Stephen Krensky, review of One Fat Summer, p. 20; March 4, 1979, Mel Watkins, review of Free to Be Muhammad Ali, p. 32; April 25, 1982; November 5, 1995, p. 22; March 29, 1998, p. 27; May 31, 1998, p. 89.
New York Times Magazine, February 16, 1986; November 30, 1986, Robert Lipsyte, "The Athlete's Losing Game," p. 59; May 22, 1988.
New York Times Sports Magazine, March 31, 1985.
People, March 25, 1985.
Publishers Weekly, July 26, 1991, p. 11; September 27, 1993, p. 65; September 25, 1995, review of Idols of the Game, p. 40; February 2, 1998, p. 72.
School Library Journal, November, 1967, Susan O'Neal, review of The Contender, p. 78; March 7, 1977, Jane Abramson, review of One Fat Summer, p. 152; August, 1993, p. 186; December, 1993, p. 145; May, 1994, p. 125; December, 1994, p. 124; June, 2001, Walter Dean Myers, "Pulling No Punches," p. 44; March, 2003, Michael McCullough, review of Warrior Angel, p. 235.
Teacher Librarian, October, 2003, Rosemary Chance, "The Contender Returns," p. 49.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1992, Colleen Macklin, review of The Chemo Kid, p. 32; December, 1993, p. 294; February, 1994, p. 398; June, 1995, p. 122.