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CHESS RUMBLE by G. Neri and Jesse Joshua Johnson

Posted in reviewku: plunder, middle grade, reviewku: poetry (all)


Angry boy.  Battles.

Chess master to the rescue?

Black and white board game.


Nitty Gritty:

Middle grade / YA

Verse novel / Semi-graphic novel

Present and past tense, first person POV

Main character – middle school age Marcus

Blend of text with graphic novel type — unique hybrid form = unforgettable book.

Poetic form — stylized free verse with visual element — i.e. poems reflect chess themes and newspaper layout (words run down alternating black and white pages like newspaper columns laid out upon a chess board)

Line breaks sometimes feel arbitrary, as if they were not chosen for their poetic impact but rather for their spacing?

Fast read — too fast?  Not enough pace variety?  Will readers get lost in the speed and not get a sense of the emotional impact?

Last third of the book feels the strongest in terms of emotion and style

Somewhat predictable and almost too good to be true type happy ending?