Games (Board, Card, etc.)

  • Interstellar Pig by William Sleator. Barney, 16, is drawn into a board game with strangers who have moved into the house next door; only when he is fully controlled by the three does he find out that the game is real, and losing means the destruction of Earth.
  • Jumanji (there's a novelization of the movie by Todd Strasser and the original picturebook by Chris Van Allsburg).
  • Playing Solitaire by Nancy Antle is about 13-year-old Ellie, who lives with her grandfather, plays lots of solitaire, and has vowed to kill her abusive father for a despicable act he perpetrated against her. The book was published in 2000 and is probably out of print, but is in some libraries.
  • Remembering the Good Times  (Richard Peck ) features lots of card playing
  • Something Rising (Light and Swift) By Haven Kimmel. Cassie Claiborne hustles pool from the time she's 11 (as taught by her Uncle Bud), while her mother smokes and writes poetry and her sister writes about everything, including their ne'er-do-well father. As she did in The Solace of Leaving Early, Kimmel finds the heart of the matter in the hearts of her characters and manages to tweak the reader's heartstrings as well
  • Sticks, by Joan Bauer might be a little young, but it's about playing pool.
  • Stone Cold by Pete Hautman (1998).  16 year old Denn finds himself alienating both friends and family when he becomes obsessed with playing high-stakes poker with adult gamblers.
  • THE FORBIDDEN GAME trilogy (The Hunter, The Chase, and The Kill) by L.J. Smith.
  • The Queen's Gambit" by Walter Tevis, about a girl who becomes a chess prodigy.  It was published originally for adults and includes some descriptions of drug use.  It is a truly compelling read with a strong female protagonist.
  • The Watcher by Margaret Buffie, Emma starts off playing fidchell (a form of complicated chess) that leads to her discovery of her true inner nature.
  • View From Saturday" by Konigsburg has the eclectic main characters doing a puzzle
  • Welcome Home of Someplace Like It, the main character, Aggie Wing, does puzzles at night with her 91-year-old grandfather. Author is Charlotte Agell.
  • Wizards of the Game by David Lubar. Eighth grader Mercer, whose passion is the fantasy role-playing game Wizards of the Warrior World, hopes to use a fund raiser to bring a gaming convention to his middle school, but instead he attracts four genuine wizards who are trapped on Earth and want his help in returning to their own world.

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