The Contender

Chapters 1-4

1. Who is Alfred Brooks?

2. How is Alfred different from the gang at the clubroom?

3. Why did Major, James, Hollis, and Sonny go to Epstein's?

4. Why did Major, Hollis, and Sonny beat up Alfred?

5. When Aunt Pearl asked Alfred what had happened to him, what did he reply? Why?

6. Why did Alfred first go to Donatelli's Gym?

7. What did Uncle Wilson always ask Alfred?

8. Before he went to bed Sunday night, Alfred thought, ". . . Slave. Nothing's promised you.


Chapters 5-8

1. Why did the policemen stop Alfred in the park?

2. How did Mr. Epstein show he did not trust Alfred on the Monday after the attempted robbery?

3. Describe the relationship between James and Alfred.

4. What kind of a man was Bud?

5. Why did Alfred go to Madison Square Garden?

6. Why did Mr. Donatelli stop Willie's fight?

7. Identify Spoon.

8. What did Major want Alfred to do?

9. Why did Alfred stand up to Major? What was the result?


Chapters 9-13

1. What announcement did Alfred make at breakfast to explain why he appeared to be"drunk"?

2. What advice did Mr. Epstein give Alfred about boxing?

3. Why did Alfred go to the clubroom?

4. When James and Alfred finally meet at the clubroom weeks after the robbery attempt, what do they say to each other?

5. Why did Alfred go riding with Major, Hollis and Sonny?

6. Where did Alfred go after running away from the police?

7. Where did Alfred go after work on Monday?

8. Why did Alfred return to training after "quitting"?

9. How did Mr. Epstein show his renewed confidence in Alfred?

10. How did Alfred "earn" his mouthpiece?


Chapters 14-16

1. Why did Charlene think Alfred was sick? What was he actually doing?

2. What had happened at the clubroom since Alfred was last there?

3. Spoon made an offer to Alfred. What was it?

4. When Jackson fell down and stayed down, what did Alfred think? Why?

5. Did Alfred win his first fight? What was Mr. Donatelli's reaction?

6. Aunt Pearl, concerned for Alfred, lightly complained about his boxing. He replied, "I don't know about nothing else." What was her reply to him, and what did she mean?

7. What did Alfred discover he had in common with his aunt?

8. Why wasn't Alfred going to quit boxing after his first fight?

9. Why did Alfred feel sick after his second fight?

10. Mr. Epstein gave Alfred a day off. Why?

11. For what volunteer job did Lynn and Harold try to recruit Alfred?

12. What did Alfred do on his afternoon off?


Chapters 17-20

1. How did Uncle Wilson view Alfred's wins?

2. Alfred came to a decision which surprised Aunt Pearl. What was it?

3. Who was the shuddering old man who crouched alongside Alfred's stairs? What did he want?

4. What did Mr. Donatelli tell Alfred after his third fight? Why?

5. Why did Mr. Donatelli allow Alfred one more fight?

6. Why were the police looking for James?

7. What did Alfred do for James?