Chess Rumble

By Booklist

In this strong debut, Marcus’ authentic voice narrates in potent, free-verse poetry. With minimal, direct words, Neri makes clear, without overstating, how Marcus’ sense of being misunderstood amplifies his frustrations and how, through chess, he learns to take responsibility for his feelings and actions. Watson effectively echoes each scene’s mood in small gray-tone paintings that employ dramatic shading. A deeply shadowed portrait of Marcus’ absent dad is particularly moving. Readers of all backgrounds will find themselves here, but this will have particular appeal among reluctant readers and young, inner-city teens.