Checkmate (Cruisers Series #2)

Checkmate (Cruisers Series #2)

by Walter Dean Myers, Kevin R. Free
     
 

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Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess seen through the eyes of a group of middle school kids whose self-published newspaper tells it like it is.

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

Overview

Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess seen through the eyes of a group of middle school kids whose self-published newspaper tells it like it is.

Sidney Aronofsky is one of the best chess players under age 16. 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 he'll be excused from playing on the school's team.

In this audiobook, Zander and his crew are back, using their school newspaper to 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
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 5–8—After successfully diffusing racial tensions and a potentially explosive atmosphere in their school the previous year in The Cruisers, Book 1 (2010), students in a Harlem school for the gifted and talented who started their own newspaper called The Cruiser are asked to help out again in Walter Dean Myers's sequel (2011, both Scholastic). The DaVinci Academy administration needs Zander and his friends to keep their star chess player, Sidney, from being arrested a second time for trying to buy drugs. Zander, LaShonda, Kambui, and Bobbi all agree to help, but Zander can't believe that the quiet white kid he knows, the one who once stood up to bullies to try to protect him, would be dumb enough to get into drugs and sets out to prove that he must have been framed. Zander finally learns that competition and ambitious family members can place a strain on kids like Sidney who play for the school chess team. The Cruisers stage an intervention, remind themselves why drugs are such a dangerous path, and teach Sidney that it is okay to make mistakes. Kevin R. Free gives a young, but wise voice to Zander. His narration easily draws listeners through the pitfalls teenagers face in today's urban landscape. Myers expertly imbues the story with moral lessons, and demonstrates the importance of strong family ties and loyal friends. An excellent addition to tween collections in urban school and public libraries, especially where the first title is available.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441863355
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
08/01/2011
Series:
Cruisers Series , #2
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers is the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books for children and young adults. His extensive body of work includes Sunrise Over Fallujah, which was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Amiri and Odette: A Love Story, Fallen Angels, Harlem Summer, and Somewhere in the Darkness. Mr. Myers’ many awards include two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Michael L. Printz Award. Mr. Myers lives in Jersey City, NJ.

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