The Cardturner by Louis Sachar.
Delacorte Press/Random House: NY, 2010.

Alton is spending his summer turning cards for his blind great-uncle, Lester Trapp, a regional legend among the Bridge playing community. Trapp believes Alton knows nothing of Bridge, but he has been paying attention and learning from Toni Castaneda - Trapp's usual cardturner, protegé, and granddaughter of his deceased, perfect partner. The Castaneda family has its own story within the story. Before this summer, Alton knows almost nothing of his uncle, accept that his mother has been trying for years to ingratiate their family with the uncle to be mentioned in his will, with no success. Alton seems to be stirring things up for Trapp this summer. He, Gloria (Trapp's partner), and Toni convince Trapp to participate in regional championships and consider nationals. This seems a great success, but also proves too much for Trapp. Oddly, the national event results in a chance for the reuniting of Trapp and his favorite partner, sort of.

How are we supposed to be partners? He can't see the cards and I don't know the rules! This quote is the start of an interesting situation. I don't want to give away the whole story, so I can't go into it more. There are a few stories meshed within the book. An unusual story to say the least. A delight if you enjoy card games. I've never played Bridge, but am familiar with some of the concepts through playing Hearts and Spades. There is enough explanation to not be lost during the competitions, and the relationships involved are as much the story as the cards are. Needless to say, Alton's summer is not wasted.

Note that the Bridge lessons are a little thick at times, but I actually enjoyed the peek at the logic of the game.

related-Bridge, card games, competition, strategy games, relationships

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