Eight Times Up

  • Pages:224
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:martial arts, mental health, gender roles, racism, mindfulness
  • Pub Date:04/09/2019
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Lexile:610L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:W
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Through the teachings of their sensei, Riley and his classmates come to understand that aikido is not about winning or losing or about being perfect.

In the dojo, Riley meets boys who are much rougher than he is and a girl who is tougher than all the rest of them put together. For Wafaa, aikido is not her first choice. She was disqualified from competing in judo for wearing a hijab.From the first time she steps on the mat, it's clear she is far more skilled than anyone expected.

Sensei shows them all how to tap into their inner strength and find their place in the universe.

"Addressing mental health with empathy…an unexpected lesson that shows 'learning to fall' is an important step in developing resilience."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Ideal for martial arts fans looking for fiction that reflects their world, or else fictional guidance on relieving anxiety. Recommended."
– School Library Connection
"An interesting and engaging fast-paced read with strong, positive messages about self-control, self-improvement, and self-discipline."
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens   | 2019  |  Commended
OLA Best Bets—Honorable Mention   | 2019  |  Commended
TD Summer Reading Club Top Ten   | 2020  |  Commended
Bank Street College of Education Best Books   | 2019  |  Commended
Hamilton Literary Awards   | 2020  |  Short-listed