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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel

David Klass

Square Fish


Freshman Daniel Pratzer gets a chance to prove himself when the chess team invites him and his father to a weekend-long parent-child tournament. Daniel, thinking that his father is a novice, can't understand why his teammates want so badly for them to participate. Then he finds out the truth: as a teen, his father was one of the most promising young players in America, but the pressures of the game pushed him too far, and he had to give up chess to save his own life and sanity. Now, thirty years later, Mr. Pratzer returns to the game to face down an old competitor and the same dark demons that lurk in the corners of a mind stretched by the demands of the game. Daniel was looking for acceptance—but the secrets he uncovers about his father will force him to make some surprising moves himself, in Grandmaster by David Klass.

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Missouri Truman Readers Award


Chess club was done for the day, and so was I. I had played three games that afternoon, two of which I'd managed to lose in the first fifteen moves. I tried to remind myself that I had just taken up the game six months ago and...

Praise for Grandmaster

“* Like Searching for Bobby Fischer, this novel about competitive chess encapsulates the intensity of the game and the players who become obsessed with it . . . [An] emotionally taut story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Drama unfolds deliberately . . . building up to an exciting, climactic endgame . . . Smart, real, and full of feeling.” —School Library Journal

“Fast-paced, inspired writing makes this perfect for fans of John Feinstein's The Sports Beat series.” —Booklist

“Klass is in excellent control of his plot, moving swiftly to the tournament action . . . and steadily closing in on the final showdown.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Reviews from Goodreads

David Klass

David Klass, an acclaimed screenwriter and the author of many popular YA novels, was a competitive chess tournament player in the post–Bobby Fischer era. He gave up the game at nineteen and only returned to it decades later, when his two children began to play in school tournaments. He lives in New York City.

image of David Klasso
Copyright Gisell Benatar

Square Fish

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