The Cardturner

The Cardturner

4.3 56
by Louis Sachar
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From Louis Sachar, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Medal for HOLES, comes the young adult novel THE CARDTURNER, an exploration of the human condition.
 
How are we supposed to be partners? He can’t see the cards and I don’t know the rules!
 
The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak

…  See more details below

Overview

From Louis Sachar, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Medal for HOLES, comes the young adult novel THE CARDTURNER, an exploration of the human condition.
 
How are we supposed to be partners? He can’t see the cards and I don’t know the rules!
 
The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. His parents insist that he drive his great-uncle Lester to his bridge club four times a week and be his cardturner—whatever that means. Alton’s uncle is old, blind, very sick, and very rich.
 
But Alton’s parents aren’t the only ones trying to worm their way into Lester Trapp’s good graces. They’re in competition with his longtime housekeeper, his alluring young nurse, and the crazy Castaneda family, who seem to have a mysterious influence over him.
 
Alton soon finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty and shy Toni Castaneda. As the summer goes on, he struggles to figure out what it all means, and ultimately to figure out the meaning of his own life.
 
Through Alton’s wry observations, Louis Sachar explores the disparity between what you know and what you think you know. With his incomparable flair and inventiveness, he examines the elusive differences between perception and reality—and inspires readers to think and think again.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

After his girlfriend hooks up with his best friend, Alton Richards is too shell-shocked to be hunting for new adventures. Recognizing his doldrums, his parents dispatch him on a strange summer assignment: His new job, four times a week, is to turn cards for his blind, bridge-playing great-uncle Lester. Aging, rich, and visibly frail, Lester Trapp is surrounded by family, servants, and nurses attentive to the old man's wishes—and will choices. Watching their mixed motives (and some of his own), Alton learns to discern the difference between illusion and reality. A winning trick from the author of the multi-award winning Holes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385736626
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

1    
My Favorite Uncle    

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had it drilled into me that my uncle Lester was my favorite uncle. My mother would thrust the phone at me and say, "Uncle Lester wants to talk to you," her voice infused with the same forced enthusiasm she used to describe the deliciousness of canned peas. "Tell him you love him."  

"I love you, Uncle Lester," I'd say.  

"Tell him he's your favorite uncle."  

"You're my favorite uncle."  

It got worse as I got older. I never knew what to say to him, and he never seemed all that interested in talking to me. When I became a teenager I felt silly telling him he was my favorite uncle, although my mother still urged me to do so. I'd say things like "Hey, how's it goin'?" and he'd grunt some response. He might ask me a question about school. I imagine it was a great relief to both of us when my mother took back the phone. Our brief conversations always left me feeling embarrassed, and just a little bit creepy.  

He was actually my great-uncle, having been my mother's favorite uncle long before he was mine.  

I didn't know how much money he had, but he was rich enough that he never had to be nice to anyone. Our favorite uncle never visited us, and I think my mother initiated all the phone conversations with him. Later, after he got really sick, he wouldn't even talk to her. My mother would call almost daily, but she could never get past his housekeeper.   I had only met Uncle Lester face to face one time, at his sixty-fifth birthday party. I was six years old, and to me, his house seemed like a castle on a mountaintop. I said the obligatory "Happy birthday" and "I love you" and "You're my favorite uncle" and then steered clear of him.  

"His heart is as cold as a brick," my father said on the drive home.  

That phrase has stuck with me, I think, because my father used the word cold instead of hard.  

My elementary school was a brick building. Every day on the way home, I would drag my fingers over the hard, and yes, cold surface.  

I'm in high school now, but still whenever I walk by a brick building, I feel compelled to touch it. Even now, as I write this, I can almost feel the hard coolness, the sharp edges, and the roughness of the cement between the bricks.       

Read More

Meet the Author

Louis Sachar is the author of the award-winning Small Steps and the New York Times number one bestseller Holes, as well as Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake. He is an avid bridge player. His books for younger readers include There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, The Boy Who Lost His Face, Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes, and the Marvin Redpost series, among many others.
 

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >