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Perpetual Check

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Randy is a chubby ninth grader with a Cub Scout hair cut who guesses M&M colors with his eyes closed and makes up words. He’s also a chess whiz who has defeated his older brother Zeke in nine of their last ten matches. Zeke is a high school senior, a soccer champ, and a chess natural who can beat just about anyone if he decides to really concentrate. So why is his lose ...more
ebook, 76 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Kristen Jorgensen
The more I contemplated and reflected on this book the more I liked it.

This book was about complicated family relationships.

Two brothers compete in a regional chess tournament, that inevitably will have them playing against each other. The brothers are in perpetual check with each other and their father, and his endless expectations. (Perpetual check is a chess term used when neither player can force checkmate on their opponent, and they repeat a series of checks and evasions without a resolut
Carmen Lopez
I absolutely adored this book. This book was about two brothers that are total opposites, that go head to head in a chess battle. Zeke, the football player competes with his brother Randy, the chess nerd. I found this book to be humorous and very descriptive. The author found certain words to use in context to draw me into the book. This book was definitely written for a teenage audience. It had humor of teenagers and it appeal to most teenagers interests. On that note, I would definitely recomm ...more
Summary: Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace is about two brothers, Zeke and Randy Mansfield, and their relationship with not just each other, but also their father. Zeke is a high school senior, a good soccer player, and a natural chess player that started beating his father at the age of six. Zeke can beat almost anybody, except his little brother. Randy on the other hand is a high school freshman, he’s a little pudgy with a haircut paralleling a Cub Scout, he likes to make up words, and he’s a ch ...more
I really like Rich Wallace, but this book was disappointing. He normally uses sports and competition as a vehicle to explore identity and personal relationships, and normally does it very well.

Unfortunately, this book will have a limited audience, mainly because it is about two brothers who compete in the world of chess. Not enough kids understand chess and the universality of the chess game, when compared with life. The descriptions of many of the matches lose something because the reader won'
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Two brothers. One championship.

Both Zeke and Randy Mansfield have made it to the Northeast Regional Pennsylvania High School Chess Championship. Zeke, the overly confident senior who succeeds in soccer, baseball, and tennis, was the top chess player in their school before Randy entered as a freshman. He's the one their father calls "Ace," and their father's obsessive coaching has turned Zeke's bravado into a weapon that he intends to wield during
“Two brothers. One championship.” One really annoying dad.

Zeke and Randy are brothers. Zeke is a senior and Randy is a freshman. Both play chess and are playing in a regional tournament in Scranton, Pennsylvania with the hopes of winning a $1,000 scholarship and an invite to the state tournament. Randy is easy going and friendly and Zeke is a bit of a jerk. Although these boys are very different from one another and don’t generally get along, It is at this tournament that they both reach their b
I really enjoyed following the drama of this chess tournament. Getting to know the players, imagining the games. But I think if kids didn't know the basic rules of chess, they would quickly get lost. Wallace usually writes sports books, and it does show - he does a good job of making it exciting, but again, there isn't a primer in here about how to actually play the game. I liked the realistic interplay between the brothers and the relatively unusual villain. One thing that bugged me (at least a ...more
A king is never going to earn a stalemate against a king and queen in tournament chess. And questioning whether to take a knight or queen for your promoted pawn, when checkmate is only 2 moves away? I don’t know of any tourneys that end in one game playoffs either, given the huge advantage of first move. These aren’t the only dubious chess strategies, and they just about kill this book for any knowledgeable fan. That may sound like an overreaction, but the story revolves around the tournament. T ...more
When Zeke was 6 years old, his father taught him how to play chess. After about three weeks, Zeke could beat his dad, and he was thrilled to be able to beat someone who was older. Until it started to happen to him. Zeke is now a senior, and his brother, Randy, is a freshman. They have both qualified for the regional tournament, and it’s likely that the two brothers will meet in the semi-final. This is one of those stories that starts out being about one thing, and turns out to be about something ...more
Perpetual Check is about 2 brothers in 1 chess tournament with 1 overbearing dad. It is a brief look at the family dynamics and the pressures of competition mixed with socialization in high school. It looks closely at the 2 brothers' relationships in the midst of pressure from parents and competition.

I came across this book while trying to find books about chess and thought I'd give it a try. It was entertaining enough, but I'm pretty sure this is a very forgettable read.
Perpetual Check is about 2 brothers in 1 chess tournament with 1 overbearing dad. It is a brief look at the family dynamics and the pressures of competition mixed with socialization in high school. It looks closely at the 2 brothers' relationships in the midst of pressure from parents and competition.
At 112 pages, this novel manages to show the serious psychological problems of a family surprisingly well. Two brothers enter a chess tournament and discover that they can be friends despite their father's interference. The characters change quickly, but somehow, it is believable.
Michele Ellis
Wallace weaves an interesting tale centering on a chess tournament. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, and the plot includes more than meets the eye. Unfortunately, chess is not a game that I enjoy, and I was bored by the details of each chess game in the tournament.
I couldn't finish this book - it was terrible. I am trying to find books that have chess as part of the plot, which is how I ended up with this one, butnothing about the chess in the book was accurate or believable.
Not at all what I expected. It was different and had a unique voice, but it was a little confusing as to where it was going. Besides, there was a bit too much profanity for my taste.

Two brothers begin to connect as they compete, eventually against each other, in a regional chess tournament.
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