THE JOSIE GAMBIT by Mary Francis Shura


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Greg, 12 and a chess champion, moves to Illinois and meets Tory, remarkably pretty, a fine chess player, and the object of a custody suit, which so disturbs her that she sacrifices her best friend in a move analogous to chess's Queen's Gambit. The neighborly Nolans take Greg in like one of their wonderfully warm family. Grandpa Nolan (now deceased) had been Greg's first chess teacher; now Greg becomes close friends with Josie Nolan, and her older brother, Jason. Tory has been Josie's best friend, but her parents' quarrels over her have made her impossibly disagreeable, upsetting loyal Josie. Tory's father is trying to prove that her mother doesn't provide Tory with adequate supervision. When the Nolans care for Tory during her mother's absence, she later accuses them of being a bad influence, falsely claiming that Greg and Josie were allowed to stay alone together and that a fire which Tory herself had set was a result of Jason and his friends smoking pot. Tory wins her gambit, but it profits her little since she must go live with her hated grandparents. Josie, wounded by her friend's betrayal, is comforted by family, friends, and her new position in the chess club, where she is now coach. An amiable story with many well drawn, contrasting relationships between generations and between friends of different ages and sexes. Greg's first person voice is literate but credible. This should be a popular addition to Shura's list. author's list.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1986
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Dodd, Mead