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4.71  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
“You’re only as good as your partner.”

Mikayla is a wrestler; when you grow up in a house full of brothers who are die-hard mat heads, it's in your DNA. She even has a wrestling name: Mickey. Some people don’t want a girl on the team. But that won’t stop her. She's determined to work hard, and win.

Lev is determined too--he's going to make it to the state championship. He's
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children's Books
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Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids, parents, teachers

Takedown is a novel aimed at middle-grade readers, aged 9-12. I’m incredibly outside that age range, yet I found this book quite a satisfying read. The two protagonists, Mykayla and Lev, are sixth-grade wrestlers who have just moved up from their town rec teams to a traveling team. Their story is told in alternating first-person narratives. Mykala (Mickey) Delgado is the third child and only daughter of a wrestling family. Her older brothers are both wrestlers on their high school teams. Mick
Scott Fillner
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!!! Shouldn’t be surprised at all after reading her last story, @LauraShovan this story is...wonderful! The characters are memorable and the wrestling vernacular is just spot on. There is a great flow to this story as well. Can’t wait for others to read! #Bookjourney
Tricia Clasen
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Note: I was fortunate to have the opportunity to read this as an ARC.

Laura Shovan has done an excellent job of alternating points of view. While this middle-grade novel focuses on a girl who is wrestling boys, the story also delves into important middle-grade issues of family dynamics and fitting in.

Shovan has been strategic in crafting characters who mesh gender expectations without feeling like caricatures. Both Mikayla and Lev are likeable and complicated enough not to seem shallow while als
Jenn Bishop
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be fair, she had me at "female wrestler." I'm on the quest to read more books about sporty girls, and "The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary," Laura Shovan's debut novel in verse was one of my favorites of 2016. So, when I heard about TAKEDOWN, coming out in spring 2018, I knew I had to get my hands on an ARC. It's told in chapters that alternate between Mickey (real name Mikayla), a girl wrestler, and Lev, the boy who starts off as her wrestling partner and becomes a true friend.

Now, a
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading an advance manuscript for this book, and I loved it! A much-needed wrestling story that features sixth graders Lev and Mikayla who are vying for the state championship title. Along the way they battle bullies, sexism, and family troubles. Beautifully written with an intriguing plot, I think this book is going to be much loved by readers!
Ms. Yingling
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Public Library Copy

Mikayle has wrestled in a rec league for many years, always with her friend Kenna. They hold their own, and don't let anyone give them grief because they are female in a sport where most of the participants are male. When they start middle school, Mikayla is really excited to be on the travel team her brothers were on, the Eagles. When she and Kenna go to the first meeting, however , Coach Spence says that girls are not allowed, and he's on the local board, so there's no way t
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story about a girl and boy both in the world of wrestling. Themes of friendship, family, and being your very best!
Stacy Mozer
I could not put down this new novel by Laura Shovan. A full review and interview will be coming to Sporty Girl Books before the book releases in June 2018. For now, I will just tell you that this book should be on your TBR list.
Wendy MacKnight
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
I don’t know anything about wrestling, but I know good stories when I read them, and this one deserves to win a state championship. Told from a dual perspective by Mickey and Lev, tossed together when Mickey has to change wrestling teams because she’s a girl, this wonderful story of friendship, sport, and finding your true self is an absolute winner! Laura Shovan for the takedown!
Lorie Barber
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an original, inspiring story of two wrestlers, Mikayla & Lev. Told in alternating points of view, Takedown is less a sports story and more about friendship and finding who you are. I loved Mikayla’s spunk as much as I was drawn to Lev’s thoughtfulness, and the supporting characters were beautifully developed.

It’s not often we get an original middle grade sports story, but this is one, and I’m proud to share it with my students.
Middle-Grade books are not always my favorites. I realize their simple plots are necessary for younger readers, but while I enjoy many, I prefer older YA novels. This time, however, I knew that Laura Shovan's new book, just out, would be good. Her first novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, is marvelous and so creative. So now, Takedown, about wrestling? I have a nephew who wrestled and while I liked watching and rooting for him, it isn't a favorite sport.
From the first two chapt
Casey Lyall
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary was one of my favourite reads of 2016. This year, Laura Shovan has brought her incredible characterization skills to a prose novel with Takedown. I'm not a sporty person, but I do enjoy a good sports story and this one is great!

Mickey and Lev are newly matched up partners on their wrestling team. Both are determined to make it to the state championships and after a bumpy start, they begin to see each other as allies rather than obstacles.

I loved the d
Christina Hanson
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“She may be a noob and a girl, but Mickey is the best partner for me. Every time she walks into practice, she has to prove herself. She understands better than anyone what it means to work hard and push yourself.”

In Laura Shovan’s latest novel, Takedown, Lev has been a member of the Gladiators wrestling team for the past few years, and he has always dreamed of going to the state wrestling championship. Mikayla, or Mickey, has wrestling in her blood. Her two older brothers and her dad are obsess
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to snag an ARC, but my 11-year-old son stole it before I could read it. Here is his review:

"I wasn't sure at first that I liked it but as I read more and more I grew captivated especially during the tournaments as Mickey finally gets up to states I can easily support her. I loved the sad but happy ending and (view spoiler) Althou
J.G. Formato
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Mikayla and Lev were so real and so relatable, I became wrapped up in their stories right away and had a hard time putting this book down. They each had their own unforgettable journey on their way to finding out who they really were, each with their own set of challenges.

Oh! And I just have to say, I am not the biggest sports fan in the world, but the wrestling matches and practice sessions were written so vividly that they were easy and fun to follow.

Beyond that, family and
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In her supremely readable sophomore effort, Laura Shovan delivers a story of two wrestlers whose paths intersect, raising questions about what wrestling means to each of them.

Lev and Mikayla have each been wrestling for years, but when the new season arrives the two find themselves on the same team, and paired as partners. Mikayla's determined to produce a successful season, even though many of her teammates struggle with the idea of having a girl on the team. Lev has his own challenges, with a
Amber Webb
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book thanks to an ARC through #bookexcursion given to us by the author.
Times are changing and more and more girls are competing in wrestling. Mickey wants it to be commonplace that girls are in the sport, but not too many others feel that way. She struggles with finding her place in her family, figuring out how she fits in this male dominated sport, discovering how to mesh old and new friendships and mix that with wrestling season, and just the general change that middle school p
Rebecca Petruck
Full of Grrl Power!, Laura Shovan also deftly explores how girl power can separate as well as support. Why is Mikayla a girl wrestler? Why isn't see simply a wrestler? She's a good one, and not only good "for a girl." This is one of many reasons I recommend TAKEDOWN. Shovan is wonderful at exploring a range of meaningful characters and social-political issues (equally evidenced in her novel-in-verse The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary), doing so in an organic way that never makes the read ...more
Mike Grosso
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Laura Shovan has a gift for writing characters you'd want as friends. She had a classroom full of them in THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, and in TAKEDOWN, we get to know two wonderful characters who make up a story of perseverance, family, and sexism that is more applicable than ever.

If you loved THE LAST FIFTH GRADE and want to see what Shovan can do with the traditional narrative format, you will not be disappointed by TAKEDOWN.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited when I heard that Laura Shovan was writing a middle grade novel and my expectations were totally met. Ms. Shovan gives such lively and distinct voices to her main characters (which should be no surprise to anyone who watched her breathe life into an entire class for Last 5th Grade at Emerson Elementary!). With a sports story that everyone will love and its themes of persistence, unlikely friendships, and finding yourself/your values, Takedown is already on my preorder list and w ...more
Erin Varley
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book. Mikayla and Lev are unforgettable characters who you would want as your own friends. Laura does a wonderful job of making the wrestling world accessible to all, especially those who know nothing of it, like me. This will most certainly be a well-loved title in my classroom library!
Laura Shovan
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I can't wait for readers to meet Lev and Mikayla!
This book really surprised me. I didn’t think I would enjoy it much because I’m truly not a sporty person or a big sports fan. However, it’s a great story about family, friendship and finding your true self. The characters read very true to middle grade age and I think many readers will enjoy the story regardless if they play sports. And I know many of my fifth graders spend huge amounts of time involved in travel teams so the story is relevant to them. Definitely adding it to my class library.
Laura Mossa
I received an ARC of Takedown to share with my #bookexcursion group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Told in alternating points of view, Takedown is the story of two six grade wrestlers, Mikayla and Lev. In Mikayla’s family, wrestling is their thing. Ever since her parents’ divorce, wrestling is also the way Mikayla ensures one on one time with her father. At the start of the novel, Mikayla (known as Mickey on the mat) is ready to move up from a rec league and follow in
Kristin Crouch
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Laura Shovan for providing #collabookation an ARC of Takedown for review.
Takedown is a wonderful book about following your dreams, being true to oneself, and keeping an open mind.
I read it back in December and just realized I never reviewed it. But the friendships and story came right back. I loved Makayla’s bravery, and her willingness to stand on her own when her best friend backed out of wrestling. I loved Lev’s reluctant support transform to genuine camaraderie.
This book was
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After a slow start, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this book. I didn’t know very much about wrestling so I was afraid I wouldn’t get into this book. As the story continued with Lev and Mikayla narrating every other chapter, I really got into the book. The author included really insightful dialogue, emotions, and thoughts that a middle grade reader would appreciate or at least identify with. I’m glad the author wrote this book with wrestling as an overarching theme. I look forward to more books from thi ...more
3.5 for this one. Sixth graders Mikayla (Mickey) Delgado and Lev Sofer couldn't be different in many ways. But as it turns out, they have one big thing in common: Both are wrestlers and determined to be champions. Reared in a family of wrestlers, Mikayla is sure that the only way to her father's heart is through the sport, and she trains hard. When she attempts to try out for one team, the coach won't let her because she's a girl, and she ends up on Lev's team, the Gladiators, assigned to Lev as ...more
Julieanne Harmatz
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So impressed with this middle grade book. Shovan does a great job of bring the wrestling world to life. I think the book’s spirit will ring true for any young competitor. Loved the multifaceted characters.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friendship, sports
I loved, loved, loved this book! The characters and the relationships they have are so well-written. Plus, I learned a lot about wrestling!
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Women in Wrestling 1 1 Dec 15, 2017 02:36PM  
Laura Shovan's debut middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, was a NCTE 2017 Notable Verse Novel, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the year, and won a Cybils Award for poetry. It was named the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for New Voices honor book in 2018. Laura's second children's novel, Takedown, launches in Summer, 2018. She lives with her family i ...more
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