Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Secrets can be tricky things. They can make you feel powerful, like you are on the inside of something special, or they can make you feel powerless, because sometimes you can’t do anything to help someone who has sworn you to secrecy. Ant (short for Anthony) is so focused on winning the spades tournament that he’s willing to take on some secrets, including the fact that his new card partner is a girl. I love how Ant wrestles with himself as he tries to figure out what to do about his best friend, his brother, this new girl, and his dad. Another fun thing about this story is the all-knowing narrator – just who is telling this story, anyway?

Kids (and grown-ups!) who like well-developed characters, stories about friendships, humor, or who have ever felt conflicted about a secret will enjoy this book.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC JOHNSON)

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