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“Readers will see themselves in Rex and appreciate the hope he offers: life can get better…. This should be widely available to anyone who needs it.”
Booklist, Starred Review

Punching Bag

Written by Rex Ogle
Published by Norton Young Readers

The companion to Rex Ogle’s award-winning Free Lunch is a searing account of adolescence in a household torn by domestic violence.

Punching Bag is the compelling true story of a high school career defined by poverty and punctuated by outbreaks of domestic abuse. Rex Ogle, who brilliantly mapped his experience of hunger in Free Lunch, here describes his struggle to survive; reflects on his complex, often paradoxical relationship with his passionate, fierce mother; and charts the trajectory of his stepdad’s anger. Hovering over Rex’s story is the talismanic presence of his unborn baby sister.

Through it all, Rex threads moments of grace and humor that act as beacons of light in the darkness. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told, Punching Bag is a remarkable memoir about one teenager’s cycle of violence, blame, and attempts to forgive his parents—and himself.

Primary ISBN: 9781324016236
Publication Date: October 2021
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook
Young Adult, Age 13 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , , ,

Setting: United States (Texas)

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: 2nd Generation

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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