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American Chess Magazine


"Across the Battlefield: A Pawn’s Journey receives four stars. The story is well-told and the illustrations are absolutely beautifully done... For anyone wanting to teach chess to a young child or grand child, this is a good little book."  

- Carsten Hansen, American Chess Magazine

English Chess Federation

“In this enchanting children’s story, we follow the adventures of Prunella the pawn, as she attempts to fulfil her dream of becoming a queen… Beautifully written throughout, this is truly a work that will capture the imagination of players (& readers) young and old alike.

Across the Battlefield also sets out chess tips which will be useful to those starting out. These cover a range of topics including castling, controlling the centre, ‘making all of your pieces happy,’ pawn chains and square control. These aren’t fully comprehensive, textbook style, nor are they intended to be – but they are enough to get a new player thinking, which is clearly the aim of the book.

Jonathan Ferry has a real talent as a teacher and as a writer… I would recommend gifting Across the Battlefield in combination with a standard introductory chess book. The two together would give a new young player a lot of enjoyment and - with a bit of luck – a lifelong love of chess.”

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Reedsy Discovery

"Must Read! I wish I could give Across the Battlefield: A Pawn's Journey more than five stars! In Across the Battlefield, Jonathan Ferry offers an excellent introduction to chess for kids, through the story of a pawn who dreams of becoming a queen. Fun and educational in equal measure, the story teaches young readers (and adults too!) about the rules and mechanics of chess. Caroline Zina's whimsical illustrations and the adventurous story can be enjoyed by the whole family, regardless of whether you have prior knowledge or interest in chess." 

Kirkus Reviews

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


British Chess News

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"Across the Battlefield: A Pawn’s Journey is a lovely story, beautifully written and enchantingly illustrated, that will appeal to many children – especially, but not only, girls – aged from about 6 or 7 upwards…many children will, understandably, fall in love with the book, and, perhaps, be hooked on chess for life as a result."

- Richard James, British Chess News

Her Move Next

"Across the Battlefield by Jonathan Ferry, illustrated by Caroline Zina features a protagonist, Prunella the pawn, and her perilous journey to promotion. This book is well suited for children ranging ages 6 to 10, with rich but not overwhelming language and useful, engaging information on the game of chess. Ferry’s gentle themes combined with Zina’s detailed, magical style make for a charming narrative full of determination, friendship, and honour.

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The character Prunella goes through an emotional journey many budding chess players can relate to, trying to find their strengths just as their pieces do, and rising from a feeling of insignificance to one of growing confidence. As Prunella makes her way across the board, she experiences exasperation at her position and fear of disappointing, but as her importance in the game grows, she learns the value of friendship and courage, so that by the time she reaches the end, she knows how to act with the quiet dignity of a queen. However, she also comes to realize that she need not be a queen to have importance. Even as a pawn, her contributions are invaluable... As she has realized, every chess piece has its own virtues, just like every chess player.


Across the Battlefield is a truly unique book for many reasons, but the fact that it tackles chess both as a moral journey and a subject of study is distinctive. With practical details on the application of technique in relation to the plot on each page, this story has all the information needed for someone ready to begin their own journey into chess. In Across the Battlefield, Ferry and Zina have created a whimsical, sparkling story that conveys the beauty of chess in all respects."

- Adaa Rahul, Her Move Next


"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 -

Texas Chess Center

"Across the Battlefield combines chess themes with a story crafted for emerging chess beginners and also for non-chess players to understand. Readers will learn important life lessons using the elements of chess through an engaging adventure about how even a tiny pawn can make a colossal difference, even without becoming a Queen. On the grand scale, Jonathan Ferry's book illustrates the importance of seeing the larger picture in life, that all of us contribute to society regardless of our background. Simply a pleasant read, with amazing art accommodating the narrative."

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- Jarred Tetzlaff, CEO - Texas Chess Center

Saint Louis Chess Club

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"The perfect introduction to chess for children and the young at heart! The book tells a heartwarming story about the life of Prunella the Pawn’s journey through a game of chess while explaining the rules at the same time. Beautiful illustrations accompany the story, and readers will come away with knowledge of the chess rules and fundamentals."

- Saint Louis Chess Club

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