Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cardturner

By Louis Sachar
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Alton's rich Uncle Lester is a bit of recluse.  The last time Alton actually saw him, he was only 6 years old.  His parents call him every week, hoping to stay on his good side so that when he dies, he'll leave them some of his millions.  Then Alton gets a summer job--turning cards for his uncle when he plays bridge at his club.  Part of the illness his uncle suffers from has left him blind and he needs someone to tell him what cards are in his hand and to turn them for him as directed.  Alton has no choice but to take the job from Trapp (what everyone else calls his uncle).  At first, Alton has no clue how to play bridge and suffers the rudeness of his uncle's comments, but he becomes more and more drawn into it, especially when pretty Toni gets involved, too.  But Alton has to contend with his friend Cliff's attentions to Toni as well.  Trapp has decided to make one more try at the National Tournament but then something unexpected happens.  Can Alton take up from where Trapp has left off?  This is a great story, filled with lots of information about bridge but more about love, life and what happiness means along with just a little bit of magic.  Wonderful!


By Catherine Fisher
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this sequel to the fascinating Incarceron, we take up where we left off.  Finn has managed to escape the prison and is acknowledged as the long lost prince of the Realm.  However, dealing with Protocol and all the princely duties annoy and bore him.  Besides that, the Queen and others are still plotting against him, and without the help of Jared and Claudia, he would long be lost.  They search feverishly for a way to fix the Portal and reopen a way back to the prison.  Meanwhile, back in Incarceron, Keiro and Attia are still trying to find a way out of the prison and to Finn.  They make reluctant partners as they search for an artifact known as Sapphique's Glove, which is known to have magical properties and is in the possession of a showman by the name of Rix.  But the Warden, now in Incarceron himself, is in league with the prison, helping it with its dream to create its own body and escape to the Outside, and it needs the Glove.  Is there a way everyone can have a happy ending?  This book is just as fascinating as the first one, and fans will be drawn right back into this unhappy world where nothing is what it seems.  A great two book punch.