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Teenage Book of the Month
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
Things can’t get much worse for Alton Richards. When his mother insists he takes his great uncle to regular bridge classes each week, Alton is not impressed. However, he agrees. He’s just lost his girlfriend, he has no job, so at least it’s something to do.
Lester Trapp is old, blind and in poor health. He is also a very wealthy man and the Richards family may have a lot to gain. But Alton’s Mum, who is most interested in her uncle’s wealth will have stiff competition in securing the inheritance she so craves, from his housekeeper, his nurse and the very strange Castaneda family.
At his great uncle’s request, Alton is to become Uncle Lester’s cardturner when he plays bridge, his life-long passion at which he has excelled at all his life. But characteristic of Sachar’s writing, what seems to be a simple pastime turns out to be something much more complex.
Through reading and turning the cards for his uncle at the bridge club Alton becomes hooked on the game and comes to learn of some of the family’s darkest secrets.
Readers may be put off by detailed information on bridge,
but Sachar’s unique style of writing, mixed with his characteristic
humour makes it possible to ignore the intricacies of the game. Through
this book and its characters, the best-selling writer of Holes shows the
reader that there is often a huge disparity between what you know and
what you think you know. It is an engaging, coming-of-age story, especially
suited to Summer holiday reading.