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Martino, Alfred C. 1964-

MARTINO, Alfred C. 1964-

PERSONAL:

Born 1964. Education: Duke University, B.A., 1986; University of Southern California, M.B.A., 1993.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Roseland, NJ. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Journalist, novelist, and entrepreneur. Listen & Live Audio, founder and president. Staff writer and sports reporter for newspapers; youth wrestling coach.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Writer's Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition semifinalist, 1995, 2004; Quills Award nomination in Teen/Young Adult category, Capitol Choices Booksworthy designation, YALSA Best Books designation, Texas Library Association Tayshas Reading List inclusion, ForeWord magazine Audiobook of the Year Silver Medal, and AudioFile magazine Earphones Award, all 2005, all for Pinned.

WRITINGS:

Pinned (young-adult novel), Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

Contributor of short fiction to anthologies and periodicals, including Rockford Review, Writers' Journal, and Aguilar Expression; contributor of articles to periodicals, including Duke, Beach Reporter, and El Segundo Herald.

ADAPTATIONS:

Pinned was adapted as an audiobook, narrated by Mark Shanahan, Listen & Live Audio, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sports journalist Alfred C. Martino wrote Pinned, his first novel, as a way of sharing his passion for the sport of amateur wrestling. Martino's passion for the sport was gained during his high school years, when he began wrestling, and after participating in the sport during his college years, he continued to be involved as a youth wrestling coach. Eventually establishing a career in the publishing business—Martino is the president of Listen & Live Audio, the award-winning audiobook publishing company he founded while earning his M.B.A. at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business—he started writing part time. Martino worked on Pinned for almost a decade before it was published, and the audiobook version was released by Listen & Live Audio in 2005.

In Pinned readers meet high school seniors Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane, two teens from different backgrounds who share one thing: the skill and desire to win the next state wrestling championship. Hailing from a small rural town, Ivan hopes that the championship will help him win the college scholarship he will need to escape the blue-collar life that will otherwise become his destiny. In contrast, Bobby has all the material advantages his upper-class family can provide; for him, wrestling is a way to escape from the emotional upheaval caused by his parents' impending divorce. Through the experiences of each teen—the training, practice, and willingness to endure hunger and thirst in order to attain the 129 pound weight required in competition—readers begin to understand the dedication and sacrifice required to be a competitive athlete, and to get inside the mind of a young man for whom winning means everything.

Pinned is narrated "with such visceral acuity that the reader can almost feel the burn of the mat," wrote a Kirkus Reviews writer in praise of Marino's novel. For Todd Morning in Booklist, the "rich portraits" of Ivan and Bobby function as a major element in the author's "compelling" story, while a Publishers Weekly contributor praised Pinned as a "gritty" coming-of-age story that features a "compelling" sports element. Explaining that the book's dual narratives reveal flaws in each of Marino's teen protagonists, Joel Shoemaker added that while the athletes' language is, at times, "raw," "many teens will identify with the boys' struggles both on and off the mat." "Sports books sometimes occupy a sort of ghetto in the world of young adult literature," Lori Witcop commented in her review of Pinned for Curled Up with a Good Kid's Book online. Noting that such books are, like Martino's novel, frequently categorizes as "reluctant-reader friendly," Witcop added that "classifying Pinned … solely as a book about wrestling does it a great disservice. This is a story of dedication, grief, love, lust, friendship, betrayal, pride, redemption and so many other universal ideals."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2005, Todd Morning, review of Pinned, p. 1184.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2005, review of Pinned, p. 232.

Kliatt, July, 2005, Edna Boardman, review of Pinned (audiobook), p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, March 14, 2005, review of Pinned (audiobook), p. 26; March 28, 2005, review of Pinned, p. 80.

School Library Journal, February, 2005, Joel Shoemaker, review of Pinned, p. 139.

ONLINE

Alfred C. Martino Home Page,http://www.alfredmartino.com (October 10, 2006).

Curled Up with a Good Kid's Book,http://www.curledupkids.com/ (October 10, 2006), Lori Witkop, review of Pinned.

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