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The book is about a boy who attends a magic school. There are contests between the groups of students similar to a chess game using magic. The good teacher is beaten by the evil teacher in a magic match in a classroom. They use a lot of chalk to perform their magic and I think the boy's father is a chalk maker. There's a dark scene of an evil presence visiting the classroom. Near the end the group of kids are turned into geese and fly to the South Pole to perform their final test.

So many wonderful scenes and I really want my wife to read it.

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Do you remember when or where you read the book? What the book looked like? – alexwlchan Feb 11 at 20:43
    
I think I read it about a year ago and because my wife and I are both disabled we actually listen to e-books from our local library. So, the book Has been around for a while. – Steve Feb 11 at 20:46

I think you mixed up The Magicians by Lev Grossman and The Rithmatist by Brandon Sandersonas @Radhil mentioned.

The book is about a boy who attends a magic school.

Both books have magic schools as a major part of their plot. And both have a boy as the main protagonist.

There are contests between the groups of students similar to a chess game using magic.

Both books feature magical contests between students.

  • In The Rithmatist this is as practice doing their chalk magic, and as a final contest at the end.
  • The Magicians features Welters, a game somewhat like chess where a board of squares is conquered via usage of magic.

The good teacher is beaten by the evil teacher in a magic match in a classroom. There's a dark scene of an evil presence visiting the classroom.

  • The Rithmatist features one of the lead instructors being replaced via contest towards the beginning.
  • The Magicians has a scene where 'the beast' is accidentally relocated into a classroom, and he harms a teacher and students.

They use a lot of chalk to perform their magic and I think the boy's father is a chalk maker.

This happens and I think is only in The Rithmatist

Near the end the group of kids are turned into geese and fly to the South Pole to perform their final test.

This happens and I think is only in The Magicians

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Haven't read that one yet, explains why I latched onto the chalk. I'll have to give it (or the teevee series) a go. – Radhil Feb 11 at 20:54
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It's worth mentioning that The Magicians is much darker and more adult-themed than The Rithmatist, which is closer to a YA novel. Both are very good, but if you only wanted your wife to read one then hopefully that helps. – Nathan Feb 12 at 19:03

This sounds like The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson.

In the world of the Rithmatist series some people are capable of using a magic that involves mathematical shapes made using chalk. They infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings.

Joel is indeed the son of a chalkmaker, although his father died some time ago. The bit about the South Pole doesn't match either, although there is an arena type brawl at the end for status and renown. The main plot is in a school of magic, where students are disappearing, so this still feels like a fit.

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Yes sir! I do believe that is it. I will check it out and continue the thread if I need more information. I read a lot of fantasy so I may be mixing my metaphors, so to speak. Thank you – Steve Feb 11 at 20:48
    
I read both books and I think my wife will love them both. While I am here allow me to recommend any fantasy lover read The Kingkiller Chronicle By Patrick Rothfuss. A wonderful romp with an amazing hero. We're still waiting for the third and last book and the pins and needles are really starting to hurt! – Steve Feb 11 at 20:53
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@Steve the rest of Sandersons works are quite impressive as well, i recomend his stormlight archive series, as well as mistborn. i have also read the kingkiller Chronicles great books. – Himarm Feb 11 at 21:06
    
@Himarm I just started Bands of Mourning and it is blowing my mind :D – Gusdor Feb 12 at 12:41
    
@Gusdor then secret history GL bands of mourning is probably the best sanderson mistborn yet – Himarm Feb 12 at 13:03

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