Louis Sachar's The Cardturner is an absolutely fabulous novel for 8th graders and up, and it would be a great book for a class assignment or class novel. I read this book a couple of summers ago, but I just now realized I never told you about it's awesomeness. I tend to do that a lot. Boo on me :(
I read this book back in 2010 when it was first published. I was actually interviewing for a high school librarian position and they asked me about a recent book I read. I was so excited to tell them about this awesome book about a high school kid who learns to play Bridge from his rich Uncle. I talked about the complexity of the story and how Sachar is a master at weaving beautiful stories together just like he did in Holes. I told them how the book was so fascinating that I thought Bridge sounded like an awesome game, and one not just for old people. I was super excited about this book. I was probably a bit too excited and gave them too many details. However, I got the job, and let's be honest, who doesn't want to have a librarian at their school that is ridiculously excited about books and just can't hold that excitement back? At least that's what I am telling myself for my amazing interview skills.
Yes, I really love The Cardturner, and that would be the reasoning behind it receiving 5 out of 5 stars. The Cardtuner received all 5 stars b/c it is a fabulous book that is well written and completely clean. I loved the different stories that he wove together to tell such a beautiful story. I love that I learned a ton about Bridge, and in the end became fascinated with it. I love that Sachar wrote about Bridge in such a interesting manner that it is hard not to be interested in it no matter how young you are. I love that Alton, the main character who just finished his junior year in high school, is quite relateable. I love that both boys and girls can enjoy a fabulously written clean story. I love that Alton shows a lot of character development. I love that a "bridge" (more than just the game) seemed to be a deeper theme throughout the book. I love that Sachar wrote the book so plainly, but with so much depth.
I just really love this book, and I pretty much think all kids should read it. I think it could be a great class novel/book study. I think book clubs would thoroughly enjoy discussing the depth of this book. I think this book can reach many different ages and stages in life.
I pretty much think you should read this book. It's awesome!
Amazon had the following book review from School Library Journal:
"Alton Richards is resigned to spending a slow summer on his own after his girlfriend leaves him for his best friend and he finds himself with no money and no job. Unfortunately, his mother insists that he become his blind great-uncle's chauffeur and cardturner at local bridge tournaments. Though the 17-year-old has only met Lester Trapp on a few occasions, his mother hopes that this connection will inspire the wealthy old man to write the family into his will. Alton reluctantly agrees, even though he knows nothing about bridge and has no interest in learning the game. He meets Toni Castaneda at the tournaments and soon discovers that he's not the only long-lost relative intent on winning over Trapp and his inheritance. What transpires is an intriguing glimpse into a crazy family full of secrets and unusual quirks. The characters are well limned, and the narrative is laced with Sachar's trademark wry humor. Most teens have very little knowledge about bridge, a fact that Alton acknowledges several times throughout the novel. At times, the story line becomes thick with technical game descriptions, though he does offer an option to skip these sections by providing a symbol to indicate more in-depth card instructions. This well-written novel contains a rewarding intergenerational friendship and a sweetly appealing romance in the making. Nonetheless it may require an additional nudge to hook readers. It's a nudge worth giving for motivated teens and those who enjoy Sachar's novels."
The Cardturner is fabulous book, Go check it out!