Perpetual Check

Perpetual Check
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Release Date
February 10, 2009
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Randy is a chubby ninth grader with a Cub Scout hair cut who guesses M&M colors with his eyes closed and makes up words. He’s also a chess whiz who has defeated his older brother Zeke in nine of their last ten matches. Zeke is a high school senior, a soccer champ, and a chess natural who can beat just about anyone if he decides to really concentrate. So why is his loser little brother the better athlete, the better chess player, and the first to have a girlfriend? The competition heightens when both Randy and Zeke qualify for the Northeast Regional of the Pennsylvania High School Chess Championships (Randy is seeded, Zeke is not)—and play their way right into a brother-tobrother final round. Told in alternating points of view between brothers, Rich Wallace’s new novel brings to life one of America’s favorite pastimes in a suspenseful story about competition and family loyalty.

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Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace
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Reader reviewed by *Samantha*

Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace is about two brothers, Zeke and Randy Mansfield, and their relationship with not just each other, but also their father. Zeke is a high school senior, a good soccer player, and a natural chess player that started beating his father at the age of six. Zeke can beat almost anybody, except his little brother. Randy on the other hand is a high school freshman, hes a little pudgy with a haircut paralleling a Cub Scout, he likes to make up words, and hes a chess whiz that beats his brother nine times out of ten. But this time, tension runs high since both Zeke and Randy have qualified for a major high school regional championship. If the boys bring everything theyve got and play their best, then it could quite possibly sit one against the other. Their father is there from the beginning, putting more pressure on the boys, coaching from the sidelines and intimidating everyone until they break or try too hard. Now its time to see who wins, who loses, and who is loyal.

This wasnt the best book, but it wasnt the worst either. Knowledge of chess would have been really helpful, because it can get a little confusing when they are talking about the pieces and the moves if you dont know anything about chess. Each chapter goes back and forth between perspectives, starting with Zeke. That can also be confusing at first, since you have to continue reading the chapter to know who is talking; but later their personalities show through enough to recognize who is speaking. There are some conflicts between the brothers that seem trivial, but then you remember they are brothers and its understandable. Its an extremely quick read, something that can be read in one sitting, seeing as it is only 112 pages. I usually like reading from a male perspective, but this is just not a book with much character development or really story. I cant say I would recommend this to most people, I would recommend this for someone younger, male, and into chess; but probably not most females.
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