Tag Archives: David Klass

This week’s book talks 11/13-17

17 Nov

Monday, one of my favorites to share, because I have stories to tell about real kids this sort of thing happened too. The kids are shocked every time!


Tuesday, we went the chess route. I asked the kids to think about whether they think they know everything about their parents.


Wednesday, we took a trip to Vietnam.


Thursday, we thought about fresh starts.


And then we finally made it to the end of the first five-day week in a while. I celebrated with a favorite.



This week’s book talks

20 Nov

This week’s books started of sort of randomly, then ended with a theme.

Monday, I shared the book I wrote about on Sunday.


We started our information writing unit this week and I shared this book because of its unique narrator: The Groove.


Publisher’s Summary: Berry Gordy began Motown in 1959 with an $800 loan from his family. He converted the garage of a residential house into a studio and recruited teenagers from the neighborhood-like Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross-to sing for his new label. Meanwhile, the country was on the brink of a cultural revolution, and one of the most powerful agents of change in the following decade would be this group of young black performers from urban Detroit. From Berry Gordy and his remarkable vision to the Civil Rights movement, from the behind-the-scenes musicians, choreographers, and song writers to the most famous recording artists of the century, Andrea Davis Pinkney takes readers on a Rhythm Ride through the story of Motown.

Wednesday, for no reason in particular, I chose three books to get me through the rest of the week. They all had a connection to games: chess, bridge, basketball

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Once u-pawn a time

22 Apr

A book about chess might not sound interesting, especially if, like me, you don’t really play chess. But Grandmaster by David Klass  is a really good read.


It centers around Daniel Pratzer, a high school freshman and new to his school’s chess club. In fact, he is new to chess. When two of the chess team’s top players invite he & his dad to a tournament because tell his father is a chess grandmaster, Daniel is incredulous. He has never seen his father play chess, or heard him talk about it. When Daniel and his father go to the tournament, the true story comes out. But it comes in small pieces, which is what makes this such a page turner.

Grandmaster  reminded me of another really good novel about a game that seems dull. The Cardturner: A Novel About a King, a Queen, and a Joker by Louis Sachar.


Reading this one, I wanted to join a Bridge league. My parents played bridge and it looked weird and boring to me. but Sachar manages to teach you enough about bridge, without boring you, and tells a really good story along the way.

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. 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.

So two books in which a game sheds some light not he human condition.

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