by Dima Novak
He’s got the moves. On the street and over the board.
Urban high school kid Moses Middleton hoped that chess competition could be a ticket out of mediocrity, but everything goes pear-shaped after a disastrous tournament. That’s when he meets Viktor, a mad Russian grandmaster who agrees to coach the team by revealing the secrets of Soviet chess.
Together with his crew — charismatic psychopath P.D. Morales, gifted violinist and expert fencer Esther Toussaint, shy anime fan Maggie Wang, and the new boy, Albanian chess wizard Zamir Hoxha — Moses vows to take the world of New York City scholastic chess by storm. But trouble’s on the way, in the form of neighborhood bullies, a vengeful vice principal, racist gentrifiers, the snooty rich kids from Galton Prep, and, worst of all, a sexual predator who could destroy a young woman’s life and the team’s newfound solidarity.
Perfect for young fans of The Queen’s Gambit, this innovative YA novel combines humor, drama, and social insight.