Sandy's Reviews > The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
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Jun 29, 10

bookshelves: books-for-boys, family-issues, magical-realism, teen
Read in June, 2010

I've never played bridge before. I don't know a thing about the game. I tried to learn once with a group of friends who also had never played, but we didn't get very far. But I have played other card games and if you know the basics of what it means to follow suit, take a trick, and if you know what trump is, then you can more than follow along with the bridge jargon in this book. Even if you don't know what any of that means, you can probably still make plenty of sense of the book as the narrator does a good job of explaining what you need to know.

This is a book about the game of bridge, but it's about a lot more than that. It's about learning to not be manipulated and how to take chances. It's about starting over fresh. And I loved it. The characters are strong, expertly built and easy to love (or, in the case of Alton's parents, fun to dislike). They make it easy for readers to enjoy a book so wrapped around a game that most of them have likely never played. Older readers who loved Holes will likely enjoy Louis Sachar's newest book for its tone, its endearing characters, and bits of magical realism that make the story come full circle.
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