Chess Rumble

By G. Neri
Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson

Hardcover: out of stock

Paperback: $11.95

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.

Check out the research-based novel study unit for Chess Rumble created by the staff at the award-winning, non-profit

Video Interview with G. Neri and Jesse Joshua Watson

Book Trailer

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb G. Neri - Author

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

Thumb_thumb 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

About This Title


Hardcover: 9781584302797

Paperback: 9781620141892


Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
American Library Association (ALA)

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

Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award
International Reading Association (IRA)

Top Picks for Reluctant Readers

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 3 - 8

Reading Level:

Grades 4 - College


Middle Grade, YA interest, Sports, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Responsibility, Poetry, Overcoming Obstacles, Multiethnic interest, Mentors, Games/Toys, Friendship, Forgiveness, Families, Education, Dreams & Aspirations, Coping with Death, Conflict resolution, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Bullying, African/African American Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Gratitude, Integrity/Honesty , Leadership, Persistence/Grit, Realistic Fiction, Respect/Citizenship, Self Control/Self Regulation, Pride, Teen Interest

Part of These Collections