cover image Gravity


Sarah Deming. Make Me a World, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-58103-1

Boxer and journalist–turned–trainer Deming (Iris, Messenger) pens a gritty, uplifting story about Gravity Delgado, “half Dominican and half Jewish,” who begins boxing at age 12 after her self-absorbed mother stops paying her karate fees. It’s free to train at Cops ’n Kids gym in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, and under the guidance of demanding Coach Thomas, who uses a wheelchair, Gravity trains to fight alongside boxers of myriad backgrounds and ethnicities. By age 16, she has won a pair of Golden Gloves and is a top contender for the 2016 Summer Olympics, while at home, her mother’s drinking has escalated, creating concerns about her little brother’s care. Gravity finds solace in the shema she prays before every fight and the unconditional support she receives from her aunt and cousin. At the gym, Gravity develops feelings for another boxer and is preparing to fight increasingly challenging opponents in Rio. Not only does Deming take readers into the riveting heart of amateur boxing, she does so through the eyes of a protagonist who is tough and vulnerable, relatable and intriguing. Via a plainspoken narrative interspersed with reporting on the Olympic arc, Cops ’n Kids, the boxers who train there, and Gravity’s family—related and chosen—become substantive characters themselves. The plot moves along at just the right pace to give readers a thrilling firsthand look inside a boxing ring, including psychological elements of the sport, while offering the moving, layered tale of a dedicated, dazzling young woman. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Nov.)