Chess Nuts, by Julia Lawrinson

Jackson wanted to come back in, sit down, and blitz them all, but how could he? Everyone knew Jackson was the best athlete in the school, and why would someone like that hang around the chess room? Jackson could imagine what Flash Buckley would think if he saw Jackson with the Chess Nuts.
I’ll show them, Jackson decided.
Just not today.

Jackson is sporty and popular. He wins everything – and people are happy to see him win. But suddenly the thought of winning isn’t as enticing as it used to be.

Anna isn’t good at sport, but she is good at chess. She is the number one player in the A-team. Then Jackson turns up to chess, and Anna is not happy. He is good at everything else – why would he want to muscle in on Anna’s territory? As the chess season continues, however, both children find they have plenty to learn from each other.

Chess Nuts is an absorbing read for middle and upper primary aged readers. The focus on chess will intrigue both chess-mad readers, and those new to the game. It is wonderful to see an unsporty sport profiled, and the use of chess-board layouts to illustrate games or moves throughout the book is a wonderful addition.

Author Lawrinson is perhaps better known for her edgy young adult novels, but when she writes for younger readers she does it well.

Chess Nuts

Chess Nuts, by Julia Lawrinson
Penguin, 2010

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