Review: Tournament Trouble

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Title: Tournament Trouble
Author: Sylv Chiang
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Annick Press
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An exciting new middle reader series from a debut author.

All twelve-year-old Jaden wants to do is be the best at Cross Ups, the video game he and his friends can’t stop playing. He knows he could be―if only he didn’t have to hide his gaming from his mom, who’s convinced it will make him violent. After an epic match leads to an invitation to play in a top tournament, Jaden and his friends Devesh and Hugh hatch a plan to get him there. But Jaden’s strict parents and annoying siblings, not to mention a couple of bullies and his confusing feelings for his next-door neighbor Cali, keep getting in the way!

Tournament Trouble marks the first book in a planned series by Sylv Chiang, a captivating new voice in middle reader fiction. With sharp dialogue and relatable characters, it chronicles the ups and downs of middle school with a relevant, contemporary twist. Accompanied by Connie Choi’s lively illustrations, Tournament Trouble invites readers into Jaden’s world, and will leave them eagerly awaiting his next adventure.

Review:

This is a great middle grade story about video games.

I really liked Jaden. He matured through the story. He went from being a gamer at home to competing in a tournament. He was even able to convince his strict parents that video games aren’t all bad. I’ve played video games my whole life, and they can be very educational. Even if the game doesn’t seem to be obviously teaching something, you can still learn strategies and problem solving skills.

Another great part of this story is the diversity of the characters. Jaden and his friend Cali are Chinese. One of his friends was Indian and I believe his sister’s boyfriend was black. This is great, because young kids can see themselves represented in this book. This diversity was also demonstrated in the illustrations, where you can clearly see how different they all look.

This is a great book. I’m excited to see what happens in the next book in the series.

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