Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hand You’re Dealt by Paul Volponi

Huck Porter, high school senior, is caught in a stick up in an elevator and faces down the gunman, calling his bluff by betting he won’t shoot.  This is the opening scene of Paul Volponi’s poker novel for teens.  Set in a small town with a depressed economy, Huck’s father was the town’s reigning poker champion before his father was hospitalized for a stroke.  Mr. Abbott, Huck’s untouchable jerk of a math teacher, steals the title from Huck’s dad while he is dying in the hospital and rubs his achievement in Huck’s face.  Huck’s mission, of course, is to win the title back, in spite of not being old enough to legally gamble.  Along the way, The Hand You’re Dealt teaches the reader about reading people, emotional maturity, and friendship.  Recommended independent reading for experienced YA readers looking for more Volponi or with an interest in poker.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Volponi, Paul.  The Hand You’re Dealt.  New York: Antheum Books for Young Readers, 2008. Print.

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