I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler

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( 34 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780786810093: I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler

These days, artist Ted Lewin, the winner of a 1994 Caldecott Honor Medal, is at the top of his game. During his earlier years, as he recounts in this acclaimed autobiography, he was competing in a very different sort of arena--the pro wrestling tour. Illustrated with photos, sketches, and paintings.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The title says it all: Lewin--one of the best illustrators working in children's books--got his start as a wrestler. Sid Lewin, his short father, had three tall sons to whom roughhousing and body building were a way of life. When Ted's older brother Donn came back from WW II, he got into pro wrestling to make a living; when Ted (who'd been going to matches and practicing moves with younger brother Mark) needed money for art school in 1952, Donn helped him get started. Lewin doesn't explain the wrestling world--where the money came from, who was making it; and he doesn't say much about rules of the sport, though his descriptions of moves and matches are graphic. What he does do, in these vivid vignettes, is depict a close-knit world of men who were mixed and matched from makeshift rings to Madison Square Garden, where they assumed roles and played crowds that could be as dangerous as any opponent (he mentions riots and knifings). The telling glimpses of the sport, the men, and their camaraderie are fascinating; comically described family scenes and dozens of photos round out the picture. Grouped in a color insert, Lewin's powerful paintings of wrestlers are more introspective, revealing the compassion he's brought to picture books like Sami and the Time of Troubles (1992) and offering a tantalizing taste of what's not said here. (Are these recent? One would like to know.) A compelling memoir. Glossary of ``Wrestling Lingo'' and ``Holds.'' (Autobiography. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up?The world of 1950's professional wrestling altered though an artistic participant's eye. This affectionate, animated memoir of a struggling art student's unusual part-time job is part autobiography, part family scrapbook, and part portfolio, forming a surprisingly disarming whole.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Ted Lewin
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