Parents' Guide to

Playing the Cards You're Dealt

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Boy faces his paternal legacy in heart-tugging tale.

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This layered coming-of-age story tugs at the heart strings. In Playing the Cards You're Dealt, the lovable, earnest Ant is on the cusp of losing his innocence. He's beginning to understand that his father's drinking and gambling are serious problems. His parents' relationship is on the rocks. For the first time, his affection and loyalty are torn between his best guy friend and a girl. He's sorting out the distinction between his own ambitions and the wishes of his father. His mother has decided he's old enough to be let in on the family secret she's been protecting him from. Ant's plight is relatable, and he demonstrates sturdy character as he faces his challenges.

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