Thursday, August 12, 2010

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

I found this book on the shelf of recommended reading at my local library, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Ambrose is a twelve-year-old boy, with an over-protective mother, who doesn't seem to get along with anyone. He has trouble with his appearance and social interactions, so he's always a target for the school's three bullies. Ambrose starts taking correspondence classes from home and meets the son of the landlords. Cosmo has just been released from jail, but he shares an interest in Scrabble with Ambrose. Cosmo sneaks Ambrose off to weekly meetings of a Scrabble club, and this results in changes for both of them. There's also an element of danger looming in the background.

Ambrose is a very interesting character who doesn't have a filter for his thoughts. He says what he thinks, which may result in humor, or it may create problems. He's learning how to grow up despite his mom's efforts to shield him from the world. I appreciated the change in Cosmo's character too. I enjoy stories where characters start as antagonists but become friends in the end.

Lexile level from 800

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