Fiction, Young Adult Literature
The Contender is the debut novel by American author and sports journalist Robert Lipsyte. It was published in 1967. The book's plot evolves a black seventeen-year-old man named Alfred Brooks, a high school dropout living with Aunt Pearl and her 3 daughters in Harlem, New York City. He begins to train at a boxing club in the streets because he has a lot of issues, including his friend James is sent to jail and on probation after robbing the grocery store he works at, and Major, his bully and leader of the gang, is responsible on putting James on drug addiction. There, he learns that there is more than just fighting and becoming the contender.
Aunt Pearl, Mr. Donatelli, Alfred Brooks, Major, James