The Cardturner

The Cardturner

by Louis Sachar


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385736633
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 130,928
Product dimensions: 8.22(w) x 5.54(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

LOUIS SACHAR is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Holes and the award-winning Small Steps, as well as Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake. Louis Sachar is an avid bridge player.

Read an Excerpt

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.       

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Cardturner 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
MaggieAntonCA More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of HOLES as well as a bridge player, so I figured to enjoy Louis Sachar's new book for teens, THE CARDTURNER [never mind that my teenage years are long past]. But I LOVED THIS BOOK! You can find the plot in other reviews. I'm going to rave about the writing, the characters, the philosophy, and the plot. Sachar puts you in hero Alton's head so perfectly that everything Alton does/says/thinks is fully integrated into a sympathetic personality. The other characters are run the gamut of humanity without being stereotypes: spunky kid sister, odious parents, manipulative best friend, cranky elderly uncle, and crazy cousin who turns out to be not so crazy after all. But THE CARDTURNER is more than a "how I spent my summer" teen novel. The mystery that Alton's family has tried so hard to conceal is carefully revealed, mental illness and domestic violence rear their ugly heads, the mutual distain between Alton and his elderly uncle slowly becomes respect and admiration, and young love blooms. Add in some ghosts and philosophical discussions for good measure, plus last, but not least, the game of Bridge. If anything can get kids to start playing bridge, this book will do it. Unfortunately for me, this is one of the crummy things about being a novelist myself. I used to read fantastic novels that left me feeling, well, fantastic. Reading Sachar's latest work certainly does that, but it also makes me realize that I'll never be able to write so well. Sigh. Maggie Anton
Of_Books_and_Birds More than 1 year ago
This book is an extraordinary example of good writing. Louis Sachar took something as seemingly uninteresting as Bridge (the card game) and made it a central focus to tell the story of growth, love, life, and to point out what is important in life and what it is not. This story is easy to read and an excellent book to share with teenage boys to read by themselves or to read with them. We can all relate with the characters and their stories unfold in interesting and delightful ways. I would definitely recommend this book to adults and teens alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absoulutely great. luved it. didn't hate it 1 bit. im 13, and i think that this book is great, great, great. i just skipped over the bridge parts and read the sum box. honestly, if u didn't read the sum box then u wouldn't really get wat is goin on in the back. who would hate this book anyway???
jrl4811 More than 1 year ago
Although it is a young adult book, I gave a copy to all my bridge buddies and several non-bridge-playing friends that have expressed an interest in learning the game. I've asked that they share the books with their kids/grandkids to get more people interested in bridge. This book is so lovely, and well written. You need not know anything about bridge to enjoy it. Those that have read it agreed that it is a wonderful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first few chapters were a little hard to get thru but after that i couldnt put this book down! Highly recpmmended. Makes me want to learn bridge
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love adventure or card game mistery you should read the book TheCardTurner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up reading most of the books he published and this was by far my favorite book of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello anyone?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it. Its the best book i have read all year of couse it has only been 1month
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alton has to bring uncle trapp to a club named brige every other day and uncle trapp is blind so cant see cards.whant to read more? Just read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alton has to drive his great uncle to his bridge games, but when he dies Alton and a girl named Toni gets closer and they play in a bridge competition, Alton plays in the bridge game as his dead great uncle Lester Trapp and Toni plays as her great grandmother Annable Finnick who is also dead but old bridge players. The Cardturner is a really good book. It is a fiction book but with real life problems going on. The author Louis Sachar puts at the beginning of the book that his publisher, editor, his wife, and agent said the he was crazy and told him that “know one is going to want to read a book about bridge”. But it is not all about bridge it is a story with bridge players.    Louis Sachar gives really good description about the characters like how old Alton is, all the problems that his great uncle Lester Trapp has. The book has the characters telling stories of what have happened through their lives playing bridge, and meeting new bridge friends. This is a book that will keep you happy and want to keep reading and want to  know more about it. It has information about bridge and it will make you want to learn how to play bridge if you don’t know how to.
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InkandPage More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3 The Low Down: It’s the summer before junior year, and it isn’t going well. First, Alton Richards' girlfriend leaves him for his best friend. Then his mother insists that he hang out with his Great-Uncle Lester all summer. Lester is a master bridge player who, ever since he lost his sight, needs someone to read and play his cards for him during games and tournaments. Alton’s dad has recently lost his job, and Alton’s mom is hoping that her status as “favorite niece” will mean that Lester will be generous to them in his will. Very generous. At first, Alton doesn’t get bridge at all; but the longer he watches and listens, he starts to like it and look forward to helping Lester. He also starts to understand the Lester, the man,since he is more than just an ATM. Taciturn and reticent, he’s not into revealing himself to Alton or reveling in small talk. Eventually, however, through Uncle Lester’s friends and fellow bridge players, Alton is able to understand and appreciate his uncle and bridge. Best Thang ‘Bout It: Louis Sachar is an effortless writer, which couldn’t have been easy with all of the explanations of bridge and how to play, the terminology, etc. I appreciate his system of showing a symbol when he was going to write in detail about a bridge hand or play. That meant you could skip it and go to a box at the end of the explanation where a short explanation would be written. Clever. I’m Cranky Because: It was so boring. I felt like the actual storyline was so bogged down in the rudiments of bridge. If all the explanations of the game had been stripped away, it would have been a short story. I’ll admit I do remember having trouble getting into one of his previous books, Holes, but ended up loving it. I really thought this would happen again. To Read or Not To Read: It’s a well-written story, but I think it would be of interest to a specific type of person. I will leave that up to you to make that call. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar was published May 11, 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. Genre:Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Ages: 12 and  up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good i'm SPEECHLESS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved thi book and it truely amazing. Who would have know it would be this good. I picked it up because it talied about cards, yet it had a truely amazing story behind it.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I would give The Cardturner by Louis Sachar 5 stars because the book was very interesting and held my attention until the very end. The story is about a 16 year old boy named Alton Richards. He and his friend Cliff don't hang out anymore because Cliff is with Alton's ex girlfriend, Katie, and Alton still has feelings for her. Alton has a Great Uncle Lester who is very rich, but very sick, he has diabetes and has gone blind. One day he calls Alton and asks Alton to be his cardturner at a bridge club that he plays at. Alton excepts and starts to learn the game and also learns more about his Great Uncle. Alton's father suddenly loses his job and now his family needs money. Since Lester is very rich Alton's parents want him to get on his Uncle's good side so that when he dies he can leave them some money in his will. Can Alton become a good cardturner with his Uncle and become friends with him, while also turning cards over in his personal life? Read to find out. I would recommend this book to anyone because every has relationship and friend problems like Alton does and they would be able to relate to him. Also in the book it explains a little how to play the game bridge which could be fun for anyone interested.
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jarujav More than 1 year ago
I was expecting a lot out of this book, since I loved Holes and Small Steps. I think the book got TOO bogged down with bridge hands, although I do have a new appreciation for the card game. Didn't feel like the characters went very deep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book taught me about the game bridge but the book itself is just a plain boring book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. It has a good story line. Its about a kid and his uncle. His uncle has a sickness and is blind. The uncle plays bridge which is a card game. The kid is the uncles cardturner which means that the kid plays for the uncle and the uncle tells the kid what to do. The uncle gets really good at bridge and enters into a nation tournament. A the last minute he dies of his sickness. So his cardturner gos for him and his uncle tells him wht to do in the back of his mind. In the end the kid wins the tournament and celebrates. Overall its a great book. It also tells you how to play bradge too. I recomend this book to everyone.