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The Cardturner


The Cardturner Cover

ISBN13: 9780385736626
ISBN10: 0385736622
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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.       

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

madison lloyd, May 24, 2011 (view all comments by madison lloyd)
The Cardturner (or, 'Pageturner', as it might more appropriately be called!) is a fresh and intriguing book starring a young adult cast, but appealing to readers of many ages. entertainingly recounted through the voice of an incredibly likable main character, the story twists and turns, centered on the relationship between a high school senior and his bridge loving uncle. the short, entertaining chapters (along with a touch of romance later on!!) keep the story alive and moving and quite a ride to the very end!! this author of holes knows how to tell intriguing stories like no other!
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David Tomashek, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by David Tomashek)
Yet another fabulous young adult book by Louis Sachar, where the young heroes find themselves and each other while becoming involved in a story that started generations past. Plus, you get to learn the ins and outs of contract bridge.
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Suthie, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Suthie)
You would not think "playing Bridge" would be the perfect premise for a love story, but Sachar takes a risk using this fading-in-popularity card game as the backdrop for an engaging tale about a crotechety, blind uncle who employs his 17-year-old nephew as his cardturner.
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Product Details

Sachar, Louis
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
People with disabilities
Sports & Recreation - Games - General
Social Issues - Friendship
Children s-Sports Fiction-Games
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 7
8.40x5.60x1.30 in. 1.00 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Sports and Outdoors » Sports Fiction » Games
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » General

The Cardturner Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - English 9780385736626 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Louis Sachar's The Cardturner is a novel about playing bridge. WAKE UP! You couldn't have fallen asleep that fast, faker.

It's true, bridge isn't as fast, enticing, or sexy as poker — or even cribbage. And I will admit that, having read all 336 pages of the book, I still can't tell you how to play bridge. It's a testament to Sachar's storytelling gifts that understanding the game isn't required to enjoy the book, and that he somehow manages to make bridge (as confusing as it remains to me) interesting." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "[I]t is astonishing how Sachar can make blow-by-blow accounts of bridge not only interesting but exciting....An obvious windfall for smart and puzzle-minded teens, this is a great story to boot, with genuine characters...and real relationships, balanced by casual, confident storytelling."
"Review" by , "Readers need not be card sharks to appreciate this unusual story; in fact, they will soon realize they've been dealt more than cards in this narrative of how big ideas and unforgettable characters affect Alton as he learns to take charge of his life and play his own hand. Intelligent readers will love this work — it's in the cards."
"Review" by , "Readers who like puzzles and those who appreciate all kinds of skilled gameplay will be drawn to this intricate, charmingly benign, yet cutthroat world."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , From the bestselling author of Holes. As the summer after junior year begins, Alton Richards finds himself becoming intrigued by his great-uncle Lester, by the game of bridge, and especially by a pretty and shy girl. Alton soon struggles to figure out what it all means, and ultimately to figure out the meaning of his own life.
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