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The Cardturner

"Oh, I’d be happy to meet you for an interview." Louis Sachar, award winning children’s author and screenplay writer is friendly and polite. "We need to make certain, however, that I’m able to get my bridge games arranged."

The man who has been delighting children for over a decade with books such as "Holes" and "There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom" has his priorities! And – the game of bridge is high on Louis’ list.

Louis tells the serendipitous story of how he came to be a writer for children. "In college at Berkeley, I became a children’s aide. I loved the kids, I began to write – and the children’s books worked." Indeed they have. In addition to having "Holes" made into a Hollywood movie, Louis has won the 1999 Newbery Medal and the 1998 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature – among many other accolades. Clearly, Louis is a man who understands children and whose tales appeal to both their hearts and minds.

After two years, Louis has finally finished a new book. We bridge players can look forward to this with exceptional anticipation; bridge is highlighted throughout. "The Cardturner" is a story of a 17 year old boy and his uncle, a wealthy bridge player who is dying. While the nephew attempts to ingratiate himself to his uncle, he becomes swept up in the world of bridge.

As an avid devotee of our game, Louis hopes that the book will spur young people’s interest in bridge. "I would love to see bridge taught in more schools," Louis states. "Perhaps once the book comes out, more people will think about bridge and the excitement will spread to schools, too."

Louis plays at least three or four sessions a week in his home town of Austin, Texas, along with a couple of regionals and at least one NABC annually. Deciding to write a book about his favorite hobby was an easy decision!

Has Louis’ daughter at Cornell University taken up the game? Not yet, Louis says. Apparently she is worried that she would not be able to measure up to the lofty standards her dad sets. "But I’m sure she’d be good at it," Louis muses.

Let’s hope that Louis’ daughter is inspired by "The Cardturner" – along with thousands of other future youth players!