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Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen
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Word Nerd

by Susin Nielsen

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2241477,206 (3.98)18

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English (13)  French (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This is one of those books that you wish was longer, but you realise that it's the perfect size. Word Nerd follows the story of a friendless, coddled child (against his choice, that is) who lives in Vancouver with his mum, and this is the third time they've moved so far in his life. But what Ambrose - the main character - loves most is the word game Scrabble! However, his mother won't let him hang out anywhere beyond four blocks away, let alone ride with Cosmo - his ex-convict neighbour (and a good guy) to the local Scrabble club!

This book is less about the story, which is just a vehicle to present the characters. Each one has their own raison d'etre, from Amanda - the club president, to the landlady/lord who lives upstairs (Mr & Mrs E), and each one has a unique and colourful character with flaws and nuance.

This book reminds me of the sandwiches I used to get at my local café before it shut down - easy to digest, full of flavour and variety, but will leave you feeling satisfied and good.

And this book will make even the grumpiest person feel good. ( )
  yassie_j | Feb 11, 2019 |
This book could have been perfect for all readers if certain things had been left out. Such a shame. The author really captured the essence and idiosyncrasies of the main character Ambrose. He's 11 and doesn't fit in at school. Not any of the schools he's been at.
Interestingly enough, his life improves when the three bullies almost kill him with a peanut and the son of his landlords is released from jail. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
Scrabble drives this story of a Canadian boy's journey from harassed misfit to finding himself in a mismatched family of sorts. Probably not great for group discussions--lots of mention of "boy parts," but worth reading.
  LibraryGirl11 | Sep 25, 2014 |
I picked this book up, thinking it was about linguistics -- a mistake -- but I'm glad I made it, because what I found was a delightful, compactly written coming of age story that was delightful but real at the same time -- Bravo! ( )
  sdunford | Aug 28, 2014 |
Ambrose captured my heart! I love him so much, like a mother and as a vision of myself when I was 12/13. Ambrose is a nerd, gets picked on at school, has an overprotective single mother, wears strange clothes, speaks without thinking, has no social graces but can play a mean game of Scrabble. Ambrose probably has Asperger's but why he is this way isn't addressed; it's simply the story of a boy learning to be who he is, get along with others, and actually be happy. I fell in love with Ambrose right away as he reminded me of myself. I'm an aspie and saw myself in Ambrose in so many ways. He is a dear, tender child who often says the most awkward things as he has no filter before speaking. This isn't the story of his problem though, it is a story of a mother and son who, after thirteen years, finally learn to get on with there lives since the death of the father/husband. Ambrose uses Scrabble to get out into the world and meet people similar to himself thus giving him self-confidence and the strength to be firm with his mother as the two of them both ultimately struggle for a place to call home. Beautifully written, a page turner, and a book where I just wish I didn't have to say goodbye to the main character. Farewell, Ambrose. ( )
  ElizaJane | May 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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To my mom, Eleanor Nielsen, for her unconditional love; and for being the one person I can always beat at Scrabble.
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The day I almost died, the sky was a bright and brilliant blue - a nice change from the rain earlier in the week.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 088776875X, Hardcover)

Twelve-year-old Ambrose is a glass-half-full kind of guy. A self-described “friendless nerd,” he moves from place to place every couple of years with his overprotective mother, Irene. When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich — even though they know he has a deathly allergy — Ambrose is philosophical. Irene, however, is not and decides that Ambrose will be home-schooled.

Alone in the evenings when Irene goes to work, Ambrose pesters Cosmo, the twenty-five-year-old son of the Greek landlords who live upstairs. Cosmo has just been released from jail for breaking and entering to support a drug habit. Quite by accident, Ambrose discovers that they share a love of Scrabble and coerces Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where Cosmo falls for Amanda, the club director. Posing as Ambrose’s Big Brother to impress her, Cosmo is motivated to take Ambrose to the weekly meetings and to give him lessons in self-defense. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There’s only one problem: Irene has no idea what Ambrose is up to.

In this brilliantly observed novel, author Susin Nielsen transports the reader to the world of competitive Scrabble as seen from the honest yet funny viewpoint of a boy who’s searching for acceptance and for a place to call home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich, friendless nerd Ambrose, forced to be home-schooled by his overprotective mother, coerces his neighbor Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where people accept him for who he is.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Susin Nielsen is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Tundra Books

2 editions of this book were published by Tundra Books.

Editions: 088776875X, 088776990X

 

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