Contemporary Middle Grade
CROSS UPS (series)
by Sylv Chiang, illustrated by Connie Choi
Annick Press (Canada)
With sharp dialogue and relatable characters, Sylv Chiang, a captivating new voice in middle reader fiction, delivers an illustrated series that chronicles the ups and downs of middle school with a relevant, contemporary twist.
#1 TOURNAMENT TROUBLE (March 2018)
All twelve-year-old Jaden wants to do is be the best at Cross Ups, the video game he and his friends can’t stop playing. He knows he could be—if only he didn’t have to hide his gaming from his mom, who’s convinced it will make him violent. After an epic match leads to an invitation to play in a top tournament, Jaden and his friends Devesh and Hugh hatch a plan to get him there. But Jaden’s strict parents and annoying siblings, not to mention a couple of bullies and his confusing feelings for his next-door neighbor Cali, keep getting in the way!
“A fast-paced escapade that draws real-life parallels to gaming culture.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Realistic and relatable.”—School Library Journal
#2 ANYONE’S GAME (September 2018)
It’s summertime, and even though his good friend Cali moved to another city, Jaden can connect with her online almost every day to play their favorite game, Cross Ups. His mom has loosened her rules on how often he can play, and he has an amazing new controller that will make him even better at tournaments. But then he gets roped into a dorky summer camp with his buddy Hugh, and Cali starts acting really weird . . . So when a last-minute tournament spot opens up in Cali’s city, Jaden jumps at the chance to go.
But things go badly from the start. Jaden loses his controller on the train, and his reunion with Cali is awkward. She’s unhappy, and Jaden can’t figure out why, especially when she’s getting better and better at Cross Ups―and may even win the tournament.
Sylv Chiang is a middle grade teacher by day and a writer of middle grade fiction by night. She wrote Tournament Trouble to appeal to the students in her grade five class who are more interested in video games than books. She lives in Pickering, Ontario.
Connie Choi graduated from the Bachelor of Illustration program at Sheridan College. She loves to draw characters and the worlds they live in. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.