Prize Fighter

Future D Fidel

Hachette Australia

June 2018

$29.99 AU

260p pb

ISBN: 978-0733639050

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Based on a play by Future D. Fidel, Prize Fighter is an incredible story about the trail of demons and destruction that is left behind by the trauma of war. This is not an autobiographical novel, but most of the story is a fictionalised version of the authorís own experience. Future Fidel was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country at war, where he lost his parents. He fled to Tanzania and ended up having to spend 8 years in a refugee camp there before coming to Australia and reuniting with his family. This novel is a version of this story but told with a different main character.

Prize Fighter is the story of Isa Alaki, who lives happily with his parents, his brother Moise and his sister Rita until he is 10 years old. He describes how he is really happy where he is in the DRC and how his older brother, Moise, is teaching him how to box. Sadly, his life soon descends into chaos during the war after his parents and his sister are massacred in front of him and his brother. He is then forced to decide either to join the enemy army or to be sentenced to death. He chooses the army and after years fighting in the field, he escapes to Australia. He then gets into boxing again but unable to reconnect with his brother and haunted by his past, he does the one thing he believes can fix everything. He returns to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek forgiveness.

Prize Fighter is a thought-provoking novel that encourages all of us to face our demons. I would give it an 8 out of 10. It is an amazing book!

Sean, age 14

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