Check Mates

Author(s): Stewart Foster

Middle Fiction

'Funny and heartfelt with a cunning twist. Stewart Foster is a grandmaster.' - ROSS WELFORD 'An inspirational underdog story and a chilling mystery! A winning combination.' - DAVID SOLOMONS Some people think that I'm a problem child, that I'm lazy and never pay attention in lessons. But the thing is, I'm not a problem child at all. I'm just a child with a problem.   Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one seems to understand just how hard he finds it. When Mum suggests Felix spends time with his grandfather, Felix can't think of anything worse. Granddad hasn't been the same since Grandma died. Plus he's always trying to teach Felix boring chess. But sometimes the best lessons come in the most unexpected of places, and Granddad soon shows Felix that there's everything to play for.

Jem's Review:

Some people think that I'm a problem child, that I'm lazy and never pay attention in lessons. But the thing is, I'm not a problem child at all. I'm just a child with a problem...

11 year old Felix Schopp’s ADHD is making school difficult. He doesn’t mean to be disruptive, his imagination gets the better of him and his grades are slipping. After being called about his behaviour yet again, Felix’s mum has a plan - for him to go spend the weekend with his reclusive grandpa, who just hasn’t been the same since grandma died.

Grandpa is weird. He keeps his curtains drawn, rips up all his mail and never answers his telephone. Plus he’s always trying to teach Felix about chess. Boring! He’d much rather be playing with his best friend, Jake. What starts as a dull weekend doing chores, ends up opening Felix’s eyes to a whole new world. Chess helps him learn to concentrate, build friendships (and rivalries) and help his grandpa open up about his experiences in East Germany.

Check Mates is heartwarming and funny. A wonderful story about the relationship between a boy and his grandfather, and opening up about the past. Felix is super relatable, he’s a typical kid doing the best he can trying to navigate school and his parents' money worries. While his best friend Jake borders on being a bad influence, he also steps up and supports Felix when it matters most.

Felix and his relationship with his grandfather is lovely. They grow, learn to trust one another, and begin healing their shared grief. Stewart Foster has written a charming book filled with heart and humour, along with a surprising twist at the end.


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'A moving, humane, funny portrait of two very different boys discovering what connects us all.' Kiran Milwood Hargraveauthor ofThe Girl of Ink and Stars
‘It’s amazing!’ Ross Welfordauthor of Time Travelling with a Hamster
'I loved it.' Lisa Thompsonauthor of The Goldfish Boy
'A touching, funny, gripping read that tackles important issues in a sensitive and thoroughly enjoyable way. Highly recommended.' Stuart Robinson, author of If Ever I Fall
'A timely story of courage and reminder of what we all share.' Christopher Edge, author ofThe Many Worlds of Albie Bright
'Powerful and warm ... this will linger long in the mind.' Guardian

Praise for THE BUBBLE BOY, winner of the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award in 2016
‘Poignant, hopeful and heartbreaking.’ Fiona Noble – Children’s Editor, The Bookseller
'Deeply moving and utterly gripping . . . Stewart Foster carries off an astonishing feat of storytelling in this exceptional book' Julia Eccleshare,
‘A gripping and deeply moving book.’ Jamila Gavin, author of Coram Boy
'One thing we know about good books is their amazing ability to inspire empathy in the reader; to explore ideas and viewpoints that arise from experiences that are out of our own realm. The Bubble Boy does this with warmth, quirkiness and a light-hearted touch.' Guardian

General Fields

  • : 9781471172236
  • : Simon & Schuster, Limited
  • : Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
  • : July 2019
  • : .831 Inches X 5.118 Inches X 7.795 Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Stewart Foster
  • : Paperback
  • : Aug-19
  • : English
  • : 823.92
  • : 352