Checkers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Checkers

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  1,359 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Speaking from a mental hospital, a teenage girl recounts the tremendous media pressure preceding the breaking scandal of her father's unethical business dealings. "This affecting account of a family under siege by the media is both an engaging read and a strong psychological exploration".--"Booklist".
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 11th 2000 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Checkers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Checkers

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakSaving Francesca by Melina MarchettaGraffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyTomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Favourite Aussie YA books
71st out of 239 books — 739 voters
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsMarley and Me by John GroganOld Yeller by Fred GipsonThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The dog dies...a cautionary list.
40th out of 128 books — 128 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,969)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Heather
While in no way a stunning piece of literature, Checkers is exceptional for the unusual perspective it takes regarding political scandals. Told from the point of view of the teenaged daughter of one of the men involved, Checkers tells the tale of a family falling apart and a teenager's life being destroyed by a scandal she had no involvement in. The story weaves the nameless protagonist's flashbacks about her dog, Checkers, and the scandal that ruined her life with current day scenes in the psyc...more
Catherine
I read this at age 13, while living in Australia, and several times later in my teens. There's something about the main character that is so easy to relate to, regardless of your own personal circumstances. I feel like this book helped me cope with the hell that was my adolescent years, and I was comforted by the fact that there were others going through what I was (or worse).
Mel
I never really got into this book. I don't really know why. The plot wasn't really... engaging. Like another reviewer stated, it was quite bleak. Didn't impress me as much as So much to tell you or Take my work for it.
Jet
This book holds the distinction of being the only one I have ever thrown across the room upon finishing it.

Usually I love Marsden.
Shannon
Stupid, stupid, stupid!!! Do not waste your time with this book.
Leone
Uninteresting , slow, distressing conclusion.
Hannah cummings
sad sad sad no point
Cindee
Checkers is a young adult fiction novel about a girl who I am assuming to be around 15/16 years old. There is a lot of mystery about her because she doesn't say where she is or even who she is outright - everything is described very subtly and you come to realise that she's in some sort of mental facility. It is written in first person and she goes back and forth between telling the story in the present and telling it in the past, all of the events leading up to why she's in such a place.

I just...more
Natasha
Oh my goodness. Writing a proper review when I get on a computer.

--

So, it took me a while, but I got to a computer.

But anyway, about the book. Checkers is the story of an unnamed protagonist who has voluntarily checked herself into a psych ward. Written as a way to get her feelings out without sharing them to any of the doctors or psychologists, she recounts memories of her dog, Checkers, as well as the rest of her family and how her life fell apart.

Although a lot of what the character goes thr...more
Chante Pabst
Probably the most depressing book I have ever read. The main character, whose name we never hear, is in a Psych hospital throughout the entire book and we don't know why until the end. It's a mix between flashbacks to her life before the hospital and certain life-explaining situations in the hospital. The book is named after her dog, Checkers, who is spotted black and white. I can't really say much without spoiling the story for you... Basically the main character's dad gets into some issues wi...more
Angela
Whilst well written, and by a good author, I'm not glad I read this book. It's depressing, bleak and with no real sense of hope, even at the end. Avoid this if you're feeling in the least bit unhappy.
Clare

I read this book awhile ago, and then re-read it after my dog died when I blamed myself for her death. I cried from the first moment the dog was bought into the household.

This book was wonderfully written with flashbacks revielling some information, but not everything to the last moment, which enables readers to completely immerse themself in the story.

John Marsden has a wonderful talent in creating characters that everyone can relate to, I'm sure everyone would know of a person who was similar...more
Ellin
This is one of my all time favourite books and my favourite John Marsden novel.

Whilst the language is relatively simple, the story straight forward and the flashbacks (as well as the main characters placement in a mental institution) approaching cliche it is the relationship between her and the dog, Checkers that I truly love about this novel. Even as her world crashes down around her the dog is there for her, the only person she can rely on. And despite the foreshadowing throughout the book the...more
Lili Kathey
Now that I think about it, this book didn't reveal all that much about the main character (what's her name? I'm not sure she ever told us), but perhaps that wasn't even essential. Most of what we found out was about Checkers, and the ending came as a bit of a shock. I think I rather liked it, despite the occasional lack of details. I probably wouldn't have liked it as much if I hadn't been very close to being admitted into a ward like this, and if I hadn't felt so damn guilty last year. That's s...more
Albert Zora
The story is so sad and i don't want to stop reading!!! Stunning book.
Christine
I've had this book in my library for some time now and have always thought, that book looks like a nice light read. Although the book isn't long, it's not exactly what I would call light.

The story was one of those books that reveal information piece by piece, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It was definitely a book you have to read in one sitting, I felt engrossed in the book and was brought to tears hen the final piece of the puzzle was revealed.

Although the book is written for teens I...more
Ja
I read this book on a whim a few summers ago, but somehow the storyline really stuck with me. It had a lot of dark humor, lightening the mood of the mental institution. I was hooked until the very end, following the protagonists current journey in the mental institution and the friends she makes there and her gripping past which eventually reveals why she is there. It was pretty shocking, and sad, but ends on a light note and gives you the feeling that she can finally move on. I would recommend...more
Alison
This book was one of the first books I really enjoyed as an early teen, and it has stuck with me ever since.
It is powerfully and beautiful written, and its a storyline that you won't forget. It covers some very intense and serious topics, but without leaving you feeling too overwhelmed.
I've re-read this book many times, and it still hasn't lost its touch. John Marsden is without a doubt one of the best Young Adult authors ever in my opinion, not just within Australia.
Mackenzie
Feb 07, 2010 Mackenzie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mackenzie by: Natasha
Shelves: borrowed, 2010
I don't really have much to say about Checkers by John Marsden. I guess I expected more from it than what I got. It was a really short book, but I felt like nothing substantial was ever happening. I found it a tad confusing.. the last 20 pages clarified things somewhat, but I didn't really like the ending.. or the book in general. I'm being a bit generous by giving this book 2 stars, as I am really giving it 1.5 stars.
Erin
This short novel, by Australian Young Adult author John Marsden, describes the experiences of a teenage girl who has had a mental breakdown resulting from extreme circumstances. Narrated in the first person, she tells us about her dog, Checkers, and about the mysterious events leading up to her current status as a resident of the psychiatric hospital she now calls home.

A quick and enjoyable read.
Sally
Horrible, I wish I hadn't read it. If you're an animal lover, an animal liker, or really just a decent human being, then don't go near this even with a ten-foot pole. It's horrible and cruel and in that regard, the worst book I have ever read. Usually I like Marsden, but this book has me wondering how someone's mind could come up with such a thing, and then, how they could bear writing it down?!
Amanda
I read this when I was 12-13. It was so so so sad. I didn't remember any of it before this year except a dog, and bad bad things happen lol. I think my brain blocked it out because, trauma.
I've read it since then, recently, and it's quite good. Very depressing. Make sure you read it before giving it to your young teen haha : )
Betty Zhuang
While the length of the book meant I was really able to connect with the main character, it's still a worthwhile read. It made me think -- it showed me behind the corporate and political scandals that I only ever associated with the news, there are real people. Fairly heavy in subject matter.
Susan
Jul 22, 2011 Susan added it
Heart breaking and haunting. Marsden was my favourite author as a teenager, he really gets into the minds of young adults (even more so that most of his characters are female, and he writes from their perspective so well for an older male). Love him. This is one of his best.
Jarvinen
I haven't read it in years but it was my favorite book in high school. Such a tear jerker. I always used to wonder at his ability to understand a young females mind. Found it so easy to relate and feel touched by 'her' story.
Christy
Sep 27, 2008 Christy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Christy by: Les H.
Shelves: young-adult
Another of Marsden's great twists...our protagonist is in a psych hospital and we don't know why. She writes in her journal about her dog, Checkers, but that can't have anything to do with her hospitalization, or can it?
Caitlyn
Oct 05, 2011 Caitlyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I would not recomend it because I have no idea who to recomend it to.
Checkers is a very sad book about a girl who has been put in psychiatry ward and what its like. She is the author and does not sound crazy to me.
I thought that the descriptions were very good.

This s a novel.
Sarah
I was shocked by this story. Which is why it will remain in my memory for ever. I can relate to it; I too would be very likely to go insane if I had to go through what this girl is forced to.
Camillabee
warning, do not read this book in a crowded area, you will burst into tears and then look like a fool. i loved this book like i love most of John Marsden's books, i only with there was more of it.
Kate
Feb 03, 2008 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kate by: clellybobus
This Aussie y/a novel was very good. Unfortunately I am so dense I didn't understand much about the father's crime (Enron-esque business fraud), but that was not the author's fault.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life
  • Space Demons
  • Girl Defective
  • Wildlife
  • Looking for Alibrandi
  • The Amber Amulet
  • Came Back To Show You I Could Fly
  • The Accident
  • The Gathering
  • 48 Shades of Brown
  • The First Third
  • Blood
  • Park's Quest
  • Playing Beatie Bow
  • A Bridge To Wiseman's Cove
  • Being Bindy
  • An Echo in Time: Atlantis (The Ancient Future, #2)
28756
See also: John Marsden.

His first book, So Much To Tell You, was published in 1987. This was followed by Take My Word For It, a half-sequel written from the point of view of another character. His landmark Tomorrow series is recognized as the most popular book series for young adults ever written in Australia. The first book of this series, Tomorrow When The War Began, has been reprinted 26 times i...more
More about John Marsden...
Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1) The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2) A Killing Frost (Tomorrow, #3) Darkness, Be My Friend (Tomorrow, # 4) Burning For Revenge (Tomorrow, #5)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »