The Game of Love and Death (Paperback)

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Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?

About the Author

Martha Brockenbrough is the author of two books for adults and five books for young readers, including The Game of Love and Death, which earned four starred reviews and was a Kirkus Prize finalist; Devine Intervention; and The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters. Visit her online at

Praise For…

Praise for The Game of Love and Death:

Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and The Bulletin

Winner of the Washington State Book Award

Kirkus Prize Finalist

A YALSA Teens Top Ten Title

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

A Booklist Editors' Choice

"The idea is fascinating. The execution here is flawless. And the outcome of Flora and Henry's game of love and death is elegantly magical." -- Kwame Alexander, author of Newbery Medal winner The Crossover

"This exquisite, elegantly original fable of young love smashing convention to smithereens is so beautiful I wish I'd written it myself." -- Elizabeth Wein, author of Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity

"Smart, haunting, and entrancingly magical, Martha Brockenbrough's The Game of Love and Death is anything but a simple game. In this sweeping and fabulous tale, Brockenbrough creates a vivid world wherein Love and Death come to life with an intent and force of character that is truly unforgettable." -- Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being

The Game of Love and Death is a unique love story, and yet, it is also the love story of all humans through time. Martha Brockenbrough is a compassionate observer of many worlds -- airfields, jazz clubs, baseball diamonds, newspapers, and Hoovervilles to name a few -- and the beautiful, doomed human types that dwell in them. This is an exceptional novel." -- Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere

"Strikingly original, richly atmospheric, and impossible to put down, I read this book with my heart in my throat, desperately rooting for Henry and Flora's fated true love over those master manipulators, Love and Death." -- Judy Blundell, author of National Book Award winner What I Saw and How I Lied

"Marvelously original, engrossing, and deeply humane. It's the kind of book you never forget." -- Nancy Werlin, New York Times bestselling author of Impossible

"The Game of Love and Death weaves a complex tapestry of love and longing, destiny and hope. Daringly conceived and brilliantly executed, it is not only an intimately human story, but one that encompasses the very nature of love and death. Rich, wise, and deeply satisfying -- the story will linger in your heart long after you've turned the final page." -- Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph

"The Game of Love and Death is an exquisitely nuanced novel that plunges readers into an inescapable ache of forbidden longing. Before you enter this game, be forewarned. Martha Brockenbrough has brilliantly crafted a contest that punctures our perceptions, and forces us to question the rules of evil and benevolence. A beautifully rendered achievement." -- Andrea Davis Pinkney, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Pencil

"The Game of Love and Death is a sweeping tour de force of imagination and heart. Entire passages begged to be reread both for the startling insights about life and for the sheer pleasure of basking in masterful language. A bold statement about the games we play and all the life -- and love -- that's possible when we stop. Shelve this one next to The Book Thief." -- Justina Chen, author of North of Beautiful, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book for Young Adults

"I couldn't refrain from gushing about The Game of Love and Death. It's rare when a book comes along that seems to transcend categorization but I have to say this is one of those novels. Everything from the richness of historical details to the racial tension to the psychology of the players themselves was expertly choreographed. I stand in awe, and I am not a fan of hyperbole." -- Gennifer Albin, author of The Crewel World trilogy

"Martha Brockenbrough has a musician's ear and a lover's heart. This terrific and beguiling novel is one of my favorites of the year, and while I'm reading it for a second time, I'm absolutely certain you should join me." -- Sean Beaudoin, author of The Infects and Wise Young Fool

Praise for Devine Intervention:

"Brockenbrough is a gifted writer who finds amusement in focusing on life's minutiae and who captures the slow-mo drama with which teens experience them... It is a pleasure to read a writer who so delights in language, and who writes so captivatingly in a teen voice with such imaginative description." -- Los Angeles Times

* "Brockenbrough devises a devilishly clever narrative, alternating Jerome's first-person account with Heidi's tightly focused third-person perspective... As the clock ticks down on Heidi's soul, readers will be rooting for both Jerome and Heidi with all their hearts." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Jerome's bumbling logic and wickedly funny observations are what make Brockenbrough's first book for teens so much fun. Underneath the occasionally risque humor and unexpected plot twists (including the possession of multiple animals' bodies) is an insightful story about seizing life for all it's worth while you have the chance." -- Publishers Weekly

"Brockenbrough's droll style delivers some laugh-out-loud moments. Reluctant readers will find the Heidi-Jerome dynamic entertaining and heartrending." -- School Library Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9780545924221
ISBN-10: 0545924227
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English