Jackson is sporty and popular.
Anna doesn’t like the sporty, popular people.
So when Jackson joins the chess squad, Anna does not initially welcome him. But Anna is about to learn some things about friendship, chess and physical fitness.
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Lawrinson addresses a salient topic in her writing. Why can’t teenagers feel free to pursue different interests and not worry so much about losing face with their peers? Over the years towards maturity, how many opportunities are lost, or passions suppressed, just for the sake of worrying what others will think? She also writes with a clear understanding of the intricacies of chess and the almost complete absorption it demands. References to famous quotes from chess masters appear throughout, lending an air of credibility to the author’s research. A good book for any teenager, especially those who need prompting to follow their own interests. – Jane Barry, Courier Mail
This book is aimed at primary school kids, and even those who can’t read it themselves will find it easy to engage in the story. All the lessons about acceptance and getting on aren’t daggy or teacherly, they just kind of work themselves in. – Susan Hewitt, West Weekend
Breaking down stereotypes, making choices, rivalry and competition, bullying, friendship and name-calling are all issues dealt with in this novel. The developing friendships and increasing maturity of Anna, Jackson and Flash Buckley are central to the tale … this is a well-paced novel with plenty of lively dialogue, likely to appeal. – JS, Reading Time
Lawrinson combines a good deal of chess lore with an amiable tale that sees rivalry and ridicule settle into a schoolwide appreciation of diversity. – Katherine England, Adelaide Advertiser