Across the Battlefield

A Pawn's Journey: A Fun Way to Learn Chess

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Pub Date 17 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 10 Dec 2022

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Across the Battlefield harnesses the power of a "whimsical and sparkling" tale to teach kids critical thinking strategies for mastering chess and lessons in character building for succeeding in life.

If you think chess is hard... imagine being a pawn! Everyone else is bigger than you, moving around takes forever... and you do not get much respect. For Prunella, a small, unassuming pawn, her greatest dream is to grow into a queen. If only she could make it to the other side of the chess board, then her dream would become a reality. With an entire army standing in her way, however, she doubts it will ever happen.

Join Prunella on her journey across the battlefield, where you will not only experience the game of chess from the viewpoint of a pawn on the board but learn the strategies and techniques it takes to win in the game of chess along with her.

Across the Battlefield harnesses the power of a "whimsical and sparkling" tale to teach kids critical thinking strategies for mastering chess and lessons in character building for succeeding in life.


Advance Praise

Across the Battlefield: A Pawn's Journey is entertaining and instructional. Vivid illustrations contribute to the story's appeal to young players. They are mesmerizing and help tell a convincing story about being timid but brave when facing what appears to be overwhelming obstacles... I wish this book was available when my youngest grandchild began to show an interest in chess. It's a heartwarming story that young readers will want to read again and again, and families and friends will enjoy watching their reactions every time too.

- Ray Linville, Editor -

Across the Battlefield is a captivating tale and guide that could help young players learn and enjoy chess. - Kirkus Reviews

Across the Battlefield: A Pawn's Journey is entertaining and instructional. Vivid illustrations contribute to the story's appeal to young players. They are mesmerizing and help tell a convincing...

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ISBN 9798986059204

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

I never interest to learn chess until I saw this book. Oh such a delightful to enjoy each pages, I wish for more and more.
Across the Battlefield successful mesmerizing me with heartwarming storytelling about young pawn who learnt about her self, life skills and importance of contributing in teamwork. All the adventures become alive with vivid, detailed colored and beautiful illustrations. Every steps and path of characters journey is describes at chess diagrams with easy to understand explanation.

I really love this unique book and found it very valuable for all age readers, not only for young one. I wishes for more amazing children book like this which offer stories, lessons and amazing art in one package. Highly recommended, an easy 5 stars for me.

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What a fun way to familiarise yourself with chess! It was a brilliant idea to add (on the left side) a playful illustration of a Harry Potter-inspired chess game to give life to the concept.

It is notoriously difficult to understand the rules, so it was quite impressive to create a quirky, easy to understand book on the subject, all the while giving more formal explanations on the right side.

I still think it might be too complex for younger readers but it is a fun story to see Prunella learn about team work.

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As someone who never learned how to play chess, Across the Battlefield is a good place to start! The illsutrations remind me of Wizard's Chess from Harry Potter.

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I enjoyed Across the Battlefield by Jonathan Ferry! Many thanks to NetGalley and for allowing me to read it!

Although I would say I know a couple things about chess, I was blown away by this picture book that is designed as an introduction to the game! This was an incredibly in depth guide, while also handling clarity and accessibility for young readers. I would say this would be for an upper elementary student or a very advanced younger kiddo. I think to put a chess-curious kid in front of a chessboard and play through the movements of each page together would be a great method of learning the game for a beginner. Not only that, but the design or this book characterizes each piece distinctly, and we get to know them and their abilities on the board. The main narrative though is of a single pawn, who ends up taking an important role for this game. I found the story quite charming.

I found this to be a great learning tool, and even added on greatly to my knowledge of the game! I loved the illustrations and following our main character through her thinking as a pawn. I would love to share this with kids who enjoy strategy games, puzzles, and even sports.
Thank you again NetGalley for the opportunity to read!

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I was given an advanced copy of "Across The Battlefield" and was astounded by the perfect execution of such an innovative concept. In general, any medium about chess will aim to either teach chess or tell a story about chess, but I've never seen a book conjoin imagination with education in literary matrimony. Ferry has done just this by binding an elementary chess lesson with a riveting adventure.

This story about a young pawn learning the world around her starts off ordinarily enough, but like a real championship chess match, it crescendoes to a gripping surprise finale that consummates the chess exercise with a positive, thematic message into one blended lesson. There are (beautiful!) illustrations throughout the story that vividly paint the picture of each event. As a visual learner, I was appreciative of the supplementary chess board diagrams that accompany each page, and I believe it's what sets this piece apart from other chess stories. Imagine "Searching for Bobby Fischer" with a dose of "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess," or "Queen's Gambit" with sketches from "Think Like a Grandmaster" at its most critical junctures.

Young readers will walk away from this lean read having learned a few chess lessons while simultaneously becoming attached to the characters and absorbing an endearing story. I plan to buy copies of this for every young person I know, because my best bet is that this will become a classic tale for the households whose shelves it lands on.

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Chess seems to be gaining in popularity these days. For any child that wants to get into the game, this book creatively introduces all the pieces, opening moves, and the basics of gameplay. Moves described in the text are illustrated in a diagram and a fictional story keeps younger readers engaged. Table at the end summarizes when pieces are most useful and in danger based on their positioning on the board. Question are posed with board setups and possible solutions to pick from to help students learn the art of chess. A creative and beautifully illustrated way to involve kids in the age old game of kings.

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