Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel

Joyce Sweeney

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)



A killer combination of high-interest plot and unforgettable characters

"All kinds of people. Little kids, a lot of men, even people your age come to the shows."

"They come to see acrobats pretending to wrestle with each other? Kyle is this some kind of sexual thing?"

"No! It's an athletic thing! It's called sports entertainment. Meaning, it's like a sport, but it's all scripted like theater. You've seen me watching wrestling on Monday and Thursday nights. . . . "

"Oh, that thing! Kyle, do you mean that terrible program where they hit each other with chairs? It's like The Three Stooges! Why would a boy like you with all your talent and brains want to do something foolish like that?"

Kyle Bailey is a high-school senior who dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. He can't tell his beloved grandmother, who raised him, because she'll think it's ridiculous, but he gets himself accepted into a rigorous training school and earns a chance at his first professional match.

He's succeeding beyond his wildest dreams, falling in love with an amazing girl, and maybe even getting his grandmother to understand a little, when things take a dramatic turn for the worse. Kyle's flaky estranged mother shows up to "help," and—to his everlasting surprise—actually does.

Critically acclaimed author Joyce Sweeney's books have been chosen as Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Best Books for the Teen Age (NYPL), Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (ALA), and as Top Ten Sports Books (Booklist).

An honest, warm, and funny novel, Headlock will make wrestling fans of the skeptical, and Joyce Sweeney fans of everyone.

American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults


Praise for Headlock

“Characters are realistically drawn, and the plot is riveting.” —School Library Journal on Shadow

“A love story, a mystery, and a spiritual journey combine to make this a satisfying read.” —School Library Journal on The Spirit Window

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Joyce Sweeney

Joyce Sweeney is the author of a dozen novels for young adults, including The Guardian. She lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with her husband, Jay, and her cat, Macoco. Her hobbies include Native American studies, Florida natural history, and professional wrestling.

Joyce Sweeney

From the Publisher

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Latest on Facebook