Like Searching for Bobby Fischer, this novel about competitive chess encapsulates the intensity of the game and the players who become obsessed with it. After joining the chess club at his private school, freshman Daniel Pratzer is surprised when his super-achiever co-captains invite him to participate in a New York City father-son tournament. An even bigger shock is their claim that Daniel’s father was once a famous grandmaster of the game. When confronted with this information, Daniel’s father admits the rumor is true but remains secretive about his past; reluctantly, he agrees to come out of retirement for the event. The tale of his playing years and why he quit dramatically unfurls at the three-day tournament, where Daniel watches in awe as his father transforms from a mild-mannered man into a cutthroat competitor. Klass (Stuck on Earth) builds significant tension as Daniel’s father begins to unravel, and the nobility of the team’s members is tested. Daniel learns something about the nature of competition and the values he and his father need to hold dearest in this emotionally taut story. Ages 12–up. Agent: Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013 Release date: 02/25/2014 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.