School Library Journal
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Gr 4-8-Readers interested in the world of professional wrestling will find much to enjoy here. Jones traces the history of this "sports entertainment" back several hundred years to carnivals in Europe and provides a fair amount of detail about its rise in popularity in the United States during the 20th century. He highlights 10 main events that helped shape pro wrestling as we know it today and offers brief biographies of 20 of the more charismatic stars, including Gorgeous George, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and The Rock. Jones draws attention to the impact that WWE owner and promoter Vince McMahon has had on the sport, from bringing spectacular bouts to the masses through cable TV and pay-per-view to becoming an active participant in his program through the persona of the evil Mr. McMahon. Subsequent chapters include descriptions of 10 of the more dramatic finishing moves that wrestlers use, and 10 memorable moments in the sport's history. Sidebars address such topics as women in wrestling and the suitability of this type of entertainment for children. The author has a real enthusiasm for the good-versus-evil storytelling element of wrestling, and while he acknowledges that the increasing popularity of mixed martial arts has been partially responsible for a decline in wrestling over the past decade, his tribute ends on a hopeful note. Readers new to pro wrestling may prefer Sean Stewart Price's The Kids' Guide to Pro Wrestling (Capstone, 2011) for more elementary explanations and photographs, but Jones offers a nice level of detail in an engaging voice for kids who want a little more in-depth information.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Whether professional wrestling is entirely authentic is not really the crux of this fun look at the sport. Rather, Jones celebrates the larger-than-life personalities and awe-inducing athletic maneuvers that have captured audiences for decades. At its most basic form, wrestling requires virtually no equipment and only two competitors, but modern professional wrestling has elevated the simple sport to an entertainment art form. Jones chronicles the early years of professional wrestling through its spike in popularity during the 1980s on cable television and mega venues like Madison Square Garden. More obscure stars, such as Mildred Burke, who performed as the Fabulous Mullah and held the Women's World Championship belt from 1937 until 1954, share space with names that even casual fans would recognize, such as Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. This boy-friendly and versatile book moves beyond straightforward biographies or a wrestling how-to and encompasses nearly everything a fan may want to know.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2010 Booklist