Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chess Rumble G. Neri

Chess Rumble by G. Neri illus. by Jesse Joshua Watson This book was published in 2007 and chosen has a quick pick for reluctant readers by American Library Association (ALA) There was much to love about Chess Rumble. This is Marcus's story told in verse. Marcus is filled with anger, after his sister's death and his dad leaving the family. He wants to fight everyone from his little brothers to his classmates. Latrell used to be Marcus's best friend, now they hate each other. Marcus is a big kid to get under his skin Latrell calls him names like Fat Albert. Marcus gets into a lot of trouble at school and his teacher, Ms. Tate is frustrated. Finally instead of the regular punishment, Ms Tate tries something new, introducing Marcus to CM. CM teaches young men to play chess, so they can fight it out on the board. This wasn't a quick fix, it still took time for Marcus to come around. It's one of the things I loved about Chess Rumble, its seems more realistic that Marcus would be hesitant to trying chess. Neri has created a very believable character in Marcus. Young readers will be able to relate to Marcus, everyone understands anger. Neri's writing is great, he does not waste a word. A few pages in I was reminded of two awarding winning books Anita Hope Smith's Keeping the Night Watch and Zetta Elliott's Bird . Two more books featuring Black male protagonists who are trying to work through some things. Watson's illustrations are a great visual glimpse into Marcus's world. One of my favorites - Marcus is holding Latrell by his shirt and he's about to punch him again. There is much expression on Marcus's face, everything from anger to a frustration scream.

New Books

G. Neri and Jesse Joshua Watson both have new books out this year

G. Neri's new release is Surf Mules Its a YA book about surfers. Action, mystery and danger, what more do you need. Apryl, you probably know a few surfers who would enjoy this

Jesse Joshua Watson new release is I and I Bob Marley which I loved, my review


Anonymous said...

I love, love, love this book and don't know why it didn't get more press. O, yes I do!

Doret said...

It is really good