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Tournament Trouble

(Cross Ups #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
An exciting new middle reader series from a debut author.

All twelve-year-old Jaden wants to do is be the best at Cross Ups, the video game he and his friends can’t stop playing. He knows he could be―if only he didn’t have to hide his gaming from his mom, who’s convinced it will make him violent. After an epic match leads to an invitation to play in a top tournament, Jaden
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Annick Press
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher

Jaden is really good at playing the video game Change Up. He and older brother Josh own a copy, but they have to hide it from their over protective mother, who fortunately works fairly long hours at a diner. When Jaden has another high score as his JStar identity and beats Kn1ght_Rage, he gets an invitation to enter the Top Tiers Tournament. Unfortunately, participants need a parent to sign for them if they are under 13, and Jaden knows that neither of his parents wi
Deanna (Deanna Reads Books)
This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books

I don't normally read a lot of middle grade, but when the publisher reached out to me because of my interest in video games, I jumped on the chance to start this series.

Cross Ups is about twelve-year old Jaden who is obsessed with this fighting game called Cross Ups, and he's pretty good at it. The problem is that his mom doesn't like him playing video games because of the violence, so Jaden hides it from his Mom. What I real
Jill Jemmett
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great middle grade story about video games.

I really liked Jaden. He matured through the story. He went from being a gamer at home to competing in a tournament. He was even able to convince his strict parents that video games aren’t all bad. I’ve played video games my whole life, and they can be very educational. Even if the game doesn’t seem to be obviously teaching something, you can still learn strategies and problem solving skills.

Another great part of this story is the diversity of
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This title is nominated for the 2020 Hackmatack Award in the English fiction category. Our protagonist, Jaden, is a pretty normal kid. He lives with his mom, dad, brother and sister. His mother has some pretty strict rules, especially about violent video games and movies. What she doesn't know is that Jaden has been secretly playing 'Cross Ups', a combat style video game, and that he's so good that he's been invited to participate in a tournament. Of course, his best friend and next door neighbo ...more
Mary-Esther Lee
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot to like about this book. I liked the diverse cast; each distinct, well-developed, relatable, and likeable. I liked that the story is realistic and believable, and I really liked the interaction between the kids and their parents. Jaden's feelings about his mom and her overprotectiveness is spot on, and I liked that they were able to talk about it without being overly dramatic. I also liked that Jaden and his friends are able to problem-solve on their own. In her acknowledgments, Ch ...more
Mary Lee
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, series
Main character plays video games on the sly because his mom doesn't approve of the violence. He winds up going to a gaming tournament and getting sponsorship from a company -- every video gamer's dream!

There's a lot more going on than just descriptions of his gaming moves (there's plenty of that) -- his best friend/neighbor's mom's MS is worsening, there is bullying at school, and there is some Mandarin woven in.
A nice mix of gaming and school bullies and family, this was a satisfying little book. I really love the mom!
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a gamer myself, I had a feeling I'd really enjoy this book. Luckily I was right but also pleasantly surprised by the morals in the story. I was impressed that the author would take the story and turn it into a lesson on the importance of honesty, even if you feel that it would be working against your goal. He shows how, in the end, you're happier because of it. Besides the moral lesson, the story itself is actually good. There are quite a few funny parts and situations the main character gets ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
Jaden is a likeable character who learns a practical lesson while gaining self-confidence. The characters have different races and backgrounds, Jaden, his family, and next door neighbor are Chinese, and Jaden’s friend Dev is Indian. This will enable children to see themselves represented in the narrative.

A fun, quick read for the whole family. Perfect for young hesitant readers who like video games.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the pub
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Feb 16, 2019
Steven Chae
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May 25, 2018
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun and suspenseful read that combined the thrill of gaming with more substantial issues like friendship, family, and bullying.

The one thing that stuck out to me was the awkward use of Chinese. I'm a native speaker and the parts where it was incorporated felt really forced. The author is white, so that's probably why.

(side note: The main character's mom is from Taiwan, the story uses the word Chinese to describe their culture though, and I wish there were more explicitly Taiwanese-identifying
Carly [A Beauty & Her Books]
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Sylv Chiang grew up in Toronto. As an only child, she had a lot of quiet time to read. Her favorite series was Trixie Belden, but she also loved books by Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. In grade one, she wanted to be an author when she grew up. Besides reading, young Sylv loved playing outside, swimming, and doing gymnastics.

As a teenager, she coached gymnastics and worked at a local museum giving

Other books in the series

Cross Ups (2 books)
  • Anyone's Game