Synopses & Reviews
At first glance, Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano don't seem to have much in common. Duncan is trying to look after his single mom and adjust to life in a new town while managing his newfound Scrabble superpower - he can feel words and pictures beneath his fingers and tell what they are without looking. April is pining for a mystery boy she met years ago and striving to be seen as more than a nerd in her family of jocks. And homeschooled Nate is struggling to meet his father's high expectations for success.
When these three unique kids are brought together at the national Youth Scrabble Tournament, each with a very different drive to win, their paths cross and stories intertwine . . . and the journey is made extraordinary with a perfect touch of magic. Readers will fly through the pages, anxious to discover who will take home the grand prize, but there's much more at stake than winning and losing.
With shrewd observations, wry humor, and a touch of whimsy, bestselling author Meg Wolitzer's classic storytelling will delight readers of all ages.
"The lives, families, and story lines of three 12-year-olds intersect at the annual Youth Scrabble Tournament in adult author Wolitzer's (The Uncoupling) entertaining middle-grade debut. Possessing a supernatural power that gives him an unfair advantage in Scrabble, the title character wrestles with his conscience and a desire for increased social status offered by his conniving partner. Meanwhile, Nate's obsessed father homeschools him in Scrabble only, hoping his son will win the tournament he lost in his youth, and April's sports-fixated family cannot comprehend word games. Themes of competition, passion bordering on mania, and teamwork weave through the narrative, as the protagonists face the consequences of parental choices and flaws which provide plentiful humorous moments and contend with ethical struggles of their own. The tournament proves a great equalizer as families wealthy and poor, blended and nuclear, enthusiastic and indifferent support their children's ambitions, and quirky players meet kindred souls from many different corners of the country. Readers don't have to be Scrabble enthusiasts to enjoy this novel, though a passion for it may well develop by the end. Ages 8 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Friendship, family, and high-stakes Scrabble come together in this compelling novel from a bestselling author
Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano don't seem to have much in common. Duncan is trying to manage his newfound ability to "read" with his fingers. April is striving to be accepted by her family of jocks. And Nate is struggling to meet his father's high expectations. But when a Scrabble Tournament brings them together, their stories intertwine. Driven by competition, drama, and just a touch of magic, the story will have readers flying through the pages, anxious to discover who will be the real winners . . .
About the Author
Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.