Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chess Rumble by G. Neri

Marcus is a middle school kid with big problems in his life. His dad is gone, his sister died, and he's one fight shy of getting kicked out of school. His first reaction to any bad situation is to come out fighting—he even raises his fist to his own mother. Fortunately for Marcus he meets a chess master who teaches him how to win at chess by always thinking three moves ahead. Marcus uses this idea in his life and finds ways to make better decisions when dealing with bullies, his brothers, his principal, and his parents. The characters in this book talk like real kids on the streets and it's full of illustrations, so it's an easy book to read quickly. Although I thought Marcus's problems were resolved too easily, it's a book that will appeal to kids who might not normally enjoy reading. There's also a lot to talk about here for a book discussion.

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