Chess Rumble

By Counterpoise

A remarkable, upbeat young adult treatise on anger and loss, Neri’s work threads carefully into a child’s heart to locate and eradicate the roots of violence. The text describes in words and lifelike poses the pressures of school, street, and home on a troubled fatherless boy. Carefully paced with realistic confrontations, the story concludes with inductive logic that illuminates for the protagonist his need for self-control. Neri’s view of urban life for broken families accommodates both individual situations and generalized social commentary on racism and teen belligerence. Both the mother and the rescuer, ex-con CM, survive personal trauma with hearts intact and a will to love an unlovable scrapper. The protagonist profits from working out for himself the down side of striking out at scapegoats who bear no fault for causing anguish. . . . Highly recommended for a gift book and for public, elementary, middle school, and high school libraries and on reading lists for coursework in creative writing, education, illustration, linguistics, psychology, religion, and social services.