FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! Twelve-year old Lawrence is new to chess--can he figure out how to get on the board, even though the odds are stacked against him?
Introducing a powerful novel about figuring out who you are when you don’t make the rules—just right for middle-grade fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds.
"Endearing, timely, needed.”—Alicia D. Williams, Newbery-Honor winning author of Genesis Begins Again
Lawrence is ready for a win. . . . Nothing’s gone right for Lawrence since he had to move from Charlotte to Larenville, North Carolina, to live with his granny. When Lawrence ends up in one too many fights at his new school, he gets expelled. The fight wasn’t his fault, but since his pop’s been gone, it feels like no one listens to what Lawrence has to say.
Instead of going to school, Lawrence starts spending his days at the rec center, helping out a neighbor who runs a chess program. Some of the kids in the program will be picked to compete in the Charlotte Classic chess tournament. Could this be Lawrence's chance to go home?
Lawrence doesn’t know anything about chess, but something about the center—and the kids there—feels right. Lawrence thought the game was over . . . but does he have more moves left than he thought?
About the Author
Chrystal D. Giles is a champion for diversity and representation in children’s literature. She made her debut with Take Back the Block, which received multiple starred reviews and was an NPR Books We Love selection. Chrystal lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and son and is currently working on her next middle-grade novel.
★ “A wise and wonderful story.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “Fans of Akeelah and the Bee and Brooklyn Castle will cherish this well-characterized, compassionately told story that touches on financial precarity, intergenerational community, and the school-to-prison pipeline.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “This is an all-consuming read about a young Black boy finding community and purpose. Essential middle grade and tween realistic reading.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ “The characters are multidimensional and authentic: Complex issues, including poverty, parental incarceration, and racism, are explored with sensitivity, offering readers opportunities for reflection.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Smart and moving."—Book Riot
"The importance of caring adults and of working through conflict are highlighted in this well-written story about a boy who deserves a win." —The Horn Book
“Giles gives readers an honest story about growing up in a world that affords few breaks to Black youth....each character is moving through the world with varied strengths and abilities.” —The Bulletin
“Not an Easy Win is a meaningful, moving read, especially for those who feel misunderstood or out of place.”—BookPage