Last year, I gave a glowing review to Christopher Hinchcliffe’s debut novel Chasing Checkers, a book I had stumbled across in my social media and decided to give a read. I had closed my review with the hope that we would hear more from young racer Teddy. I was giddy last week when I found out that the next novel chronicling Teddy Clark’s journey as a racer was not only available but that I was offered a copy for review. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity and dove right into reading it when it arrived in my inbox on Saturday morning. It’s now Sunday afternoon, just a little more than 24 hours later, and I finished. And you know that I watched every single lap of the Bristol race yesterday afternoon which of course meant a bunch of time watching racing instead of reading about it. A good measure of my enjoyment of a book is measured by the length of time it takes me to finish the book (the faster I read through it, the more I am enjoying it). That said, really enjoyed the section installment of young Teddy’s adventures in Hinchcliffe’s Chasing Checkers: Acceleration. (more…)
It’s not often I can tell you that I heard about a book from a racer. Books for this column come to me by various ways. Some are by authors I already love. Some books are ones that are recommended to me by friends who know I like to read and have a thing for motorsports books. Some are offered up by publishers or publishing companies who think that they are something I will enjoy and would like to review here on the Reading List. But then there are the ones I find on my own. This one can kind of be categorized like that. I follow racer Pippa Mann on Instagram (and twitter) because I love her positivity in her posts. She posted a photo several months ago of a book called “Chasing Checkers” that she was reading poolside and I admit that I was curious about the novel especially when the last name of the author caught my eye so I decided to look it up on Amazon. After reading the synopsis I one-clicked it immediately however I didn’t get to read it until last week. I figured at the least it would provide good fodder for the Reading List. But I am pleased to say that I am excited to bring you the review of this book.
Chasing Checkers by Christopher Hinchcliffe is a young adult novel that tells us the story of Teddy “Chex” Clark- a teen who has been racing since he was 7 years old. Teddy has always dreamed of being a racer. The book details young Teddy’s racing career in GoKarts, through a racing school series, to what will be the biggest race of his career. A race that brings with it the opportunity of a seat in the series the next year and purse money that would make paying for races much easier for Teddy and his family. However just like real life, it’s not all about racing. Teddy is faced having to deal with life beyond racing while staying focused on the task at hand. Teddy learns to deal not just with issues that race up in the cockpit but out of the cockpit as he balances expectations, family drama, and friends (old and new) along with his chosen passion of racing. All while learning the ins and outs of new car and a more competitive series than he’s ever been in before.
Readers don’t need to have motorsports knowledge to enjoy this book. It’s definitely an easy read for an adult and would likely be appropriate for children ready to jump from beginning chapter books to regular chapter books. The language is pretty easy and would probably work for newish chapter book readers. As an adult I enjoyed this novel and hope that we will hear more about Teddy. I recommend this book for young and old race fans who want a good novel about a young driver working his way through the motorsports world.
About the author: Christopher Hinchcliffe is a Canadian author from Ontario Canada who teaches legal and political philosophy on the side. He also happens to be the brother of INDYCAR driver James Hinchcliffe. You can find out more about him on his website: ChasingCheckersBook.com or twitter handle @CMHinchcliffe.
For Full-Disclosure purposes (I am looking at you FTC):
I purchased my copy of Chasing Checkers for Kindle- it was not provided to me by any entity. As with all my reviews on BadGroove, the words and opinions on this book are my own.
Click here for other installments of Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List