Duncan is not used to having friends. It’s somehow worse when he’s the new kid in town as well. Having the ability to read letters with his fingertips, however leads him to the school bully choosing Duncan to be his partner for the Youth Scrabble Tournament. April Blunt is hoping to meet the boy mysterious she taught to play Scrabble there. Nate Saviano just wants to win so his father will get over not winning 20 years ago. Three kids, from across the US with their own problems and only Scrabble in common.
That kind of oversimplifies the story. Sorry, but I don’t want to go into too much detail because the best part of this book is getting to know these characters. They’re all really great kids, but normal ones. They just want to be liked for who they are, and to win the Scrabble tournament.
The best part, though, is that although they are all competitive, they are also good sports about it. They all have respect for each others’ skill, which is nice to see. In fact, it’s really hard to root for one of them to win because they’re all great.
This is the kind of book I would read over and over again when I was 12, to the point where it would fall apart, just because I wanted to spend more time with the people inside it. Highly recommended for upper elementary and middle school readers.