|As in "I LOVE to play Scrabble!"|
So when I read about Meg Wolitzer's novel for young teens, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, I found out it was about Scrabble! Well, it went to the top of my list of Books I want to Read! And I read it. And it does Scrabble proud.
Duncan has just moved with his single mother, his only parent since his Dad died before he was born, back to the town she grew up in. So, he's the new kid, not an enviable position in middle school. But right before school starts, he discovers he has a special power. His mother begs him to keep this "talent" quiet. She seems very very concerned to keep a low profile. Only his Great-Aunt offers Duncan any encouragement.
I admired Duncan's restraint. I personally would have shown that Talent to the first two dozen people I met. Duncan doesn't show it to the other new kid, Andrew, for several weeks. But when he does display his "powers", the captain of the Scrabble team, Carl, decides that Duncan and his weird power will be the perfect partner to help Carl win the Youth Scrabble Tournament in Florida.
Duncan and bossy, rich brat Carl, are only two of the great young Scrabble players in this book. There are the girls from Oregon, immersed in Scrabble for years but also trying to find a mysterious boy. There's skateboarding Nate from NYC, whose father came in second at the YST when he was a kid. Some of the kids are Scrabble insiders like the Oregonzas and Carl himself. Others like Duncan and Nate have been dragged into Scrabble to please other people.