Synopses & Reviews
From Louis Sachar, New York Times
bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Medal for Holes
, comes the young adult novel The Cardturner
, an exploration of the human condition.
How are we supposed to be partners? He can't see the cards and I don't know the rules!
The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. His parents insist that he drive his great-uncle Lester to his bridge club four times a week and be his cardturner — whatever that means. Alton's uncle is old, blind, very sick, and very rich.
But Alton's parents aren't the only ones trying to worm their way into Lester Trapp's good graces. They're in competition with his longtime housekeeper, his alluring young nurse, and the crazy Castaneda family, who seem to have a mysterious influence over him.
Alton soon finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty and shy Toni Castaneda. As the summer goes on, he struggles to figure out what it all means, and ultimately to figure out the meaning of his own life.
Through Alton's wry observations, Louis Sachar explores the disparity between what you know and what you think you know. With his incomparable flair and inventiveness, he examines the elusive differences between perception and reality — and inspires readers to think and think again.
"[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." Booklist (starred review)
"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." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Readers who like puzzles and those who appreciate all kinds of skilled gameplay will be drawn to this intricate, charmingly benign, yet cutthroat world." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"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." School Library Journal
"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)
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.
About the Author
Louis Sachar is the author of the award-winning Small Steps and the New York Times number one bestseller Holes, as well as Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake. He is an avid bridge player. His books for younger readers include There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, The Boy Who Lost His Face, Dogs Don't Tell Jokes, and the Marvin Redpost series, among many others.