Queenside: Now Available for Pre-Order
The rousing follow-up the award-winning “YA masterpiece” Pushing Pawns sees a wildly diverse high school chess team grappling with brutal cops, ruthless gentrification, and competition more ferocious than they’ve ever faced.
It’s the worst day of Moses Middleton’s life. Reeling from a crushing break-up, he joins his best buddy P.D. in New York City’s Travers Park, where more bad news awaits: Their beloved chess tables are scheduled for demolition. Then a violent stop-and-frisk encounter with a pair of crooked cops leads to detention in the local precinct house.
And that’s just the beginning of Moses’ struggles. The superbly gifted Esther has left the team and kicked our hero to the curb. The chess club is a different beast this year, disrupted by new members and romantic complications. Under the demanding supervision of Soviet grandmaster Viktor Fleischmann, the team gropes for solidarity as it prepares for its greatest challenge to date: the National High School Chess Championship.
Meanwhile, enlisting old and new comrades in an effort to save the chess tables, and perhaps the whole neighborhood, Moses uncovers a conspiracy that reaches from cutthroat moneymen to sadistic police officers — and even to his own teammates.
Multiple crises are on the boil when a sudden act of shocking violence threatens to destroy the team and shatter their dreams.
Sinister forces are at work. Can the young comrades snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, over the board and on the streets?