ALEX AND THE WEDNESDAY CHESS CLUB by Janet S. Wong

ALEX AND THE WEDNESDAY CHESS CLUB

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Smitten by chess in kindergarten, Alex is enthusiastic but not a prodigy, so when he runs up against “moldy old Uncle Hooya” and gets his clock cleaned, he doesn’t give a second thought to turning his attention to other pursuits all the way to third grade, where football results in enough turf-eating for him to reconsider chess. By now his confreres are savvy players; clock-cleaning becomes Alex’s lot, except for a few players who are obviously there for the fun—exemplars. Alex hangs in at tournament time, experiencing a flow-state moment when the pieces talk to him: Go ahead, they say, be reckless and enjoy yourself. This is about fun. A distraction allows him to smoke Uncle Hooya’s nephew, but by now Alex knows there is more to the world than the chessboard. Wong’s terrific telling (full of humor and clever asides) offers a fine example of enjoying chess in the non-obsessive mode—gads, there are always sports and pizza to attend to—set against the rich colors and interesting perspectives of Schuett’s art. Back matter includes some universal hints to guide all those Alex’s out there. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85890-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2004




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