Checkmate (Cruisers Series #2)

Checkmate (Cruisers Series #2)

by Walter Dean Myers
     
 

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In the second book of the CRUISERS series, Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess as seen through the eyes of a group of middle school misfits.

Sidney Aronofsky is one of the best chess players under age 16 in both the city and the country. When he's arrested for trying to buy drugs, it comes as a total surprise to those who know him. The

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Overview

In the second book of the CRUISERS series, Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess as seen through the eyes of a group of middle school misfits.

Sidney Aronofsky is one of the best chess players under age 16 in both the city and the country. When he's arrested for trying to buy drugs, it comes as a total surprise to those who know him. The expectations of parents, schools, and tutors pressure the young players. Sidney loves and wants to play chess, but dislikes the constant spotlight. He thinks that if he appears to be involved in drugs or a troublemaker he will be excused from playing on the school's team. In this book Zander and his crew is back, using the Cruiser school newspaper express their frustrations and triumphs.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Zander Scott and the Cruisers are now coping with middle-school pressures at Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem. Vice principal Culpepper asks for their help when Sidney, the school chess prodigy, is picked up by the police for attempting to buy drugs. But as Zander learns, there are no easy answers to serious problems. The novel ends on a hopeful note following a climactic chess match between Da Vinci and a rival school with Sidney's realization: "It could go wrong, but I know I got some people on my side." Myers includes his trademark themes, such as personal responsibility, making difficult choices, and coping with pressure, but scales back their intensity for a younger audience. Although setting and language are urban, situations and characters are universal enough to appeal to most middle schoolers. The antidrug message comes through loud and clear, but is authentically expressed by the characters. Although second in a series, Checkmate ably stands alone: personal details about the members and references to how the Cruisers formed provide enough backstory for new readers to know the group well. Zander is an engaging, thoughtful narrator who makes introspection look cool; the three other members of his group are distinct characters in their own right.—M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439916271
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/2011
Series:
Cruisers Series, #2
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
735,259
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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