Welcome to Lee & Low Books. We are an independent children's book publisher intensely focused on diversity. Peruse our site for books for school, school library, homeschooling, minority and Spanish children's books, free teacher reading resources for children, and much more!


Chess Rumble

Chess Rumble (hc)

By G. Neri

Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson


Three moves
is all it takes
to change the outcome
of the game.

In Marcus's world, battles are fought everyday—on the street, at home, and in school. Angered by his sister's death and his father's absence, and pushed to the brink by a bullying classmate, Marcus fights back with his fists.

One punch away from being kicked out of school and his home, Marcus encounters CM, an unlikely chess master who challenges him to fight his battles on the chess board. Guarded and distrusting, Marcus must endure more hard lessons before he can accept CM's help to regain control of his life.

Inspired by inner-city school chess enrichment programs, Chess Rumble explores the ways this strategic game empowers young people with the skills they need to anticipate and calculate their moves through life.

Booktalk with author G. Neri

Video Interview with creators G. Neri
     and Jesse Joshua Watson

Book Trailer

Children's Books of the Year
Bank Street College Children's Book Committee

ALA Notable Children's Book
American Library Association (ALA)

Skipping Stones Award
Skipping Stone Magazine

Notable Books in the Language Art
National Council of Teachers of English

Top Picks for Reluctant Readers

More awards...
Interest Level
Grades 3 - 8
Reading Level
Grades 4 and up
African/African American Interest, Bullying, Conflict resolution, Coping with Death, Education, Family Traditions, Games & Toys, Mentors, YA interest, Middle Grade
About the Creators

G. Neri is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and new media producer from Los Angeles, where he also worked with inner-city youth. He is the recipient of the International Reading Association Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award and Chess Rumble was recognized as an ALA Notable Children’s Book. Neri now lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida with his wife and their daughter. His Web site is gregneri.com.

Jesse Joshua Watson is a fine artist and illustrator whose work has appeared in galleries, on CD covers, and more recently in children's books. An avid traveler, Watson's artwork reflects the cultures and people he connects with along the way. Watson lives with his wife and their sons in Port Townsend, Washington. Chess battles with family members are a favorite pastime. His Web site is jessewatson.com

Clear Bookshelf Your Bookshelf help Add All to Cart