The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

The Cardturner

Written by Louis Sachar

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A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection.

The worldwide best-selling author of Holes takes readers on a journey right into the extraordinary and obsessive world of bridge. Don’t be put off by this central theme before having a read of the extract on Lovereading4kids. Alton Richards is sent over to help his rich and ailing Uncle Lester by reading the cards he turns while he plays bridge. Uncle Lester is a champion player; Alton knows absolutely nothing about the game. How Lester teaches Alton about the game and about the power and magic of card playing and especially the all important skill of remembering numbers and cards is an all absorbing eye opener into a world of rules and codes and fierce competition. Revelatory and brilliant.


The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

When Alton's ageing, blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him, he agrees. After all, it's better than a crappy summer job in the local shopping mall, and Alton's mother thinks it might secure their way to a good inheritance sometime in the future. But, like all apparently casual choices in any of Louis Sachar's wonderful books, this choice soon turns out to be a lot more complex than Alton could ever have imagined. As his relationship with his uncle develops, and he meets the very attractive Toni, deeply buried secrets are uncovered and a romance that spans decades is finally brought to a conclusion. Alton's mother is in for a surprise!


'Themes of greed, mental illness, love and friendship are all told with gentle good humour and woven with Sacharesque-skill. The Cardturner is a moving, life-affirming and heartening story. Recommended.' (4 stars.) Author Helena Pielichaty

'Louis Sachar is one of the few masters of American fiction' - Independent on Sunday

'..Sachar [is the] owner of the most distinctive, clever, funny, philosophical voice in children’s fiction.' The Telegraph

'The genius of Sachar's prose is that it's so plain and unshowy you don't notice the daredevil artistry of his storytelling until it's too late. You don't know you've been cut in half until you try to walk away.' Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian

About the Author

Louis Sachar

Julia Eccleshare, our very own editorial expert as well as Children's Books Editor of the Guardian says of Louis:

Best-selling author Louis Sachar took the world by storm with Holes, his remarkable story about a group of boys in a reform camp. But he deserves to be just as famous and popular for his many other books which display his hallmark qualities of warmth, empathy and understanding of all kinds of young readers but especially those whose lives have gone a bit awry. Young readers are immediately attracted to Louis Sachar’s novels for his great and unusual stories and for his exceptional understanding of some of the challenges of growing up.


Louis Sachar was born on 20 March 1954, in East Meadow, New York. In 1976, he went to the University of California, where he studied economics. While at university he became a teacher’s aide to gain extra credit; it turned out to be his favourite class and inspired him to write children's books. After graduation he worked in a sweater warehouse in Connecticut and wrote at night. After he was fired from that job he moved on to law school. In his first week of study, Sideways Stories from Wayside was published. After completing his studies in 1980 he became a part-time lawyer but was compelled to concentrate on his writing full-time.

Louis now lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes and plays quite a lot of bridge. His novel Holes has sold over 8 million copies worldwide and has been made into a major motion picture of the same name by Disney. Louis is the recipient of many of the world's most prestigious book prizes, including the National Book Award and the Newbery Award. Holes was also selected as the first Liverpool City Read title and won the Sheffield Book Award in the UK. The Cardturner, published by Bloomsbury in June 2010, is a truly original romance, coming of age and mystery novel.

Author photo credit © Perry Hagopian

Check out the great Q&A with teachers and students and some handy writing tips on Louis' website - click here.

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Book Info


352 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Louis Sachar
More books by Louis Sachar

Author's Website


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

9th August 2011




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