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The Boy Who Loved Words

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  548 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Words. Selig loves everything about them--the way they tast on his tongue (tantalizing), the sound they whisper in his ears (tintinnabulating!), and--most of all--the way they stir his heart. And he collects them voraciously, the way others collect stamps or seashells.

But what to do with so many luscious words? Surrounded by doubters, Selig journeys forth and discovers tha
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Schwartz & Wade
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Lisa Vegan
Apr 19, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids who love words; budding writers; for vocabulary building; oddballs of all ages; collectors
Maybe this isn’t a five star book (I had to get used to the way people were depicted, and its attempt at diversity fell short, and even some short parts of the story rubbed me the wrong way, just a tiny bit) but I’m a sucker for books such as this, and 5 stars it is. And, I do this it’s an excellent book.

This book takes a long, long time to read if all the words are read. In addition to the story, there are many words on most pages. (They reminded me of the magnetic poetry kits’ words.) If readi
Aug 17, 2009 Jen rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
I've been going to the library lately looking for childrens' books about word worship or library love. I find all kinds of books that seem to be just what I am looking for and then I get them home and read them and they are just blah. Eh. Good idea. Not so great execution of idea. This book is a classic example. They could have done much better, although the short part about the boy sharing his collected words with a poet with writer's block was okay.

Where is the whizzbang wonder? There are ple
Jun 23, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan--thank you!
A wonderous ode to the beauty of words. The boy in this story loves words and collects them as some people would collect rocks or stamps or baseball cards. But when he finds himself overloaded with words, he must find a way to free up his mind and his pockets. In a delightful bit of serendipity, he learns that he can do great things for people by sharing his words.

A charming and clever tale for budding logophiles, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think I would have loved it as a child since
I kept waiting for this book to be about someone who really lived (an author, poet, etc.) and it wasn't - so, I think had I known that for sure prior to reading I would have enjoyed the book even more.

That said, I like the way this book was written, and especially liked that all the complicated words were explained in the back for those curious to know their definitions.

The arc of the story wasn't anything amazing, but I appreciated what the book set out to do, and how children who revel in word
Cierra Garrison
Feb 22, 2015 Cierra Garrison rated it really liked it
My first thought after finishing this book how how many different ways you could take it! This would be a fantastic read aloud for grades 1-3. For first graders, each student can pick a more advanced word from the story (ex: tantalizing, earnest, obligation, ect) look up the meaning of it, where it originated from, and give an example of how it could be used in a sentence. Then the students can present their findings to the class. For 2nd or 3rd graders, since the little boy in the stories hobby ...more
May 11, 2016 Tatiana rated it liked it
Part of our first grade High Ability curriculum. A story about Selig, a young boy with a love for words, and his journey to find a purpose for his wordsmith ways. I honestly thought it could have been more...wondrous. I got my hopes up when Selig was visited by a Yiddish genie, and then again when he helped a poet (perhaps William Wordsworth to mirror Selig's nickname?). But overall, it was ho-hum. Even one of my students predicted an ending that would have been far more impactful! It is a good ...more
Caitlin Barclay
This is a book all about a boy that loves words! I would say that this is an inspirational book that encourages readers to find purpose in what they enjoy doing. The fact that this boy loves words and the words that the author includes makes me want to write a poem! The book includes a glossary of the words used because some of them I have never heard before! I would like to have this in my classroom to help students see what can be done with their dreams and with words!
Sep 25, 2013 Rida rated it it was amazing
I fell instantly in love with his book! Great, Super, Amazing, Incredible, Exquisite! I'm speechless! It's a joy. I Love Words and I in fact do collect them in my good words document. I feel so appreciated by this book. I bet Selig would be the best person to help me make my novel come to life! Sigh.
Christine Turner
Words. Selig collects them, ones that stir his heart (Mama!) and ones that make him laugh (giggle). But what to do with so many luscious words? After helping a poet find the perfect words for his poem (lozenge, lemon, and licorice), he figures it out: His purpose is to spread the word to others. And so he begins to sprinkle, disburse, and broadcast them to people in need.

About the Illustrator, Giselle Potter

I drew a lot as a kid because that is what everyone around me did. Everyone in my f
Oct 02, 2016 Danette rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Read with Julia.
Sep 18, 2016 Thabata rated it really liked it
"There are in this world people who are born collectors". What a great book to entice children the love of words. The reader will enjoy learning new ones, difficult ones, and trying to use them in everyday conversations. There are worlds within words. Selig’s passion is beautiful and inspiring. I love it how the author was not timid in choosing enchanting words, sometimes not very common in the vocabulary of a young person. A great educational tool, poetic at times. Another great use of this boo ...more
Aug 28, 2011 Gail rated it liked it
I am a fourth grade teacher and I am starting a word study in my class. I read an interview with Ralph Fletcher on some good things that writers do. In the interview he talked about collecting words to use in ones writing. He thought it was a good thing to do to inspire children to use different words to enhance their writing. I used this book as a springboard to the lesson. Then I told some of what Ralph Fletcher said in his interview and then I asked the students to watch for words in their re ...more
Laura Mcclanahan
Nov 10, 2013 Laura Mcclanahan rated it liked it
Shelves: 544
Genre- post- Modern Children's books

A boy is somewhat of an outcast because he focuses so much on the words to describe the world he lives in, he doesn't really act "normal". The words the boy thinks float all over the page in typed lettering, appearing on scraps of paper and falling ontop of the objects described in the book. The narrator mentions a few of these words, but the reader must pause the plot in order to take in all of the descriptions for the sky, the animals, the items in the windo
Joanna Marple
Oct 22, 2011 Joanna Marple rated it liked it
Potter already has me intrigued with her book jacket of a young boy surrounded by nouns and adjectives cut from newsprint! Schotter hooks me on page one, by not shying away from our hero’s love of BIG words like tintinnabulating or tantalizing! Selig collects words as other young boys might shells or stamps. On every page of Selig’s story the reader will encounter new words; a plethora of rich vocabulary as well as a creative plot, and while this vocabulary feast will feed many, some children wi ...more
Sep 24, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it
Over the last two days I read this book with my class.

Back in May when I read this book for the first time, I wrote:

"The language in this story is marvelous. What a great way to share juicy words! I am not certain about the 3.6 reading level Follett assigns. Students will be able to follow the story, but the language could trip them up a bit.

I should use this as a read aloud when we read Donavan's Word Jar."

Well, I did just that. The students really enjoyed the book, as did I. The language is so
Apr 02, 2013 Juso rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching-craft
"The Boy Who Loved Words" is a great and quirky book about a boy named Selig, who loves words! He loves them so much that he collects new words everywhere he goes. But after he is picked on by some of his friends, who tell him to add the word "oddball" to his collection of words, he is hurt. His family worries about him. One night, a genie appeared in his sleep and told him that he has a passion for helping others with their words. As a result, he goes on a journey, collecting words and giving i ...more
Sophia C
May 15, 2012 Sophia C rated it liked it
I bought this book from Amazon and chose not to read anything about it. It was an impulse buy based on the title and cover art. I was pleasantly surprised when I read the story due to the moral of the story.
The only reason I cannot give this book five stars is because of the following:

My first impression of the message in the book made me think of Jesus and spreading the word of Christ (this is a little silly considering the author, but still).
There were some transition problems in my opinion in
Oct 06, 2013 Faith rated it it was amazing
Book Title: The boy who loved words by Roni Schotter

Short description: This story is about a boy who loves to collect words. He learns how words are powerful and he uses his collection to help people.

Features to teach in a mini-lesson:

1. Language: I would use this story to show how words can create a more descriptive story and add effect to writing. We could use this story to learn new words like, aflutter and tantalizing. This could be a way to revise writing and replace over used words.

Jul 13, 2010 Elfdart rated it liked it
this story is about a boy who loves words. he collects words and saves his favourites and he’s ostracized because of this and comes to a point where he’s left home and a man stumbles upon some of his words and makes a poem out of them. he then decides it’s his purpose to spread his words around the world. at the end he meets a girl named melody and the narrator says if ever a word comes upon you it’s because of the boy, and if you feel like singing it’s because melody’s with him.
kind of working
Ashley Stone
This story is about Selig/Wordsworth who has an uncanny love of words. As a boy, he was an outcast with the other children his age because while other kids had the normal hobbies, he liked to collect words. He meets a poet who just so happens to use some of Selig’s favorite words in his poetry. This encourages Selig and he continues to pursue his own hobby. After Selig grows older, he meets a woman named Melody and they fall in love. At my age, I liked this book. I’m not sure if it would be a go ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Anita rated it liked it
Shelves: noticing-craft
Selig, a boy who loves words, family worries about his interest in words. Some kids begin to pick at him by telling him to add "oddball" to his collection. After feeling lonely he sets on a mission to find his purpose and on his way he meets some word loving friends. This book has an amazing vocabulary; definitely a great children's book.

I would use the book in an older classroom to help them begin to learn how to use different describing words. For example, swirling winds and rhapsody of birds
Kyle Turck
Apr 11, 2013 Kyle Turck rated it it was amazing
The Boy Who Loved Words is a very cool book, especially in the way that it is almost a picture book geared towards older readers. The book tells the story of a young boy who collects words and goes on to realize that his purpose in life is to share those words with those who need them. This book is great for building vocabulary, as many of the words are quite complex and all of the words are contained in the back of the book with definitions, which is why this is a great book for vocabulary work ...more
Victor Marquez
Jun 23, 2014 Victor Marquez rated it it was amazing
In this book there is a kid who likes to collect words every word he heard that he liked he would write it down.He stuffed new ones inside his shirts,down his socks,up his sleeves,under his hat.His father was a practical manwho sold sturdy shoes and his mom was a large,lovely women from the old country. In school they would call him wordsworth one of the kids called him oddball selig repeated and laughed. Selig's steps were liht and filled with purpose. In that way, a baker whose pastries had al ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This book serves so many useful purposes, aside from just being a fascinating story with fantastic illustrations. I've used this in my classroom (grade 4, but would be appropriate for younger grades) to teach about word choice in writing, and how the use of a 'precise' word is often more effective than the use of a 'big' word. The story also addresses how the 'oddballs' in the world feel, so it's also a good story for anti-bullying week. It's also a story of adventure, as the boy who loves words ...more
Appropriate for all ages, this picture book introduces a character with a love of language. Selig or "Wordsworth" as he later calls himself collects words that he hears and likes. As a child he is teased for his habit, but as an adult, he learns to share his words and be the muse for poets and people who don't know what to say. The book ends with a glossary. It would be a useful tool for teaching poetry and writing techniques such as alliteration, rhythm, connotations and word choice. A suppleme ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Kiddo rated it really liked it
The title is intriguing and there is more than a little poetic prose in this book. Furthermore, appreciation for even mundane words is professed. Tune, melted, and fruit are right up there with mellifluous and swarthy. Nice idea in theory, but I suppose I'm just not that egalitarian.

The illustrations are interesting. The palate of skin tones and the choice of hair styles is just a little unusual.

While unique and enjoyable, this is definitely not a 5 star book in my opinion. Still, it is a litt
Aug 23, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
"Upon my word!" you may say. "How lucky I am!" are words you would hear from me after reading this book, and you will also see those words a number of times in the book. Roni Schotter tells the story of a young boy who collects words, and notices things for much of his life. He is lonely and feels set apart, but carries on with his word gifts! Words-both beautiful and intriguing-float around the man, pleasing, but not without experiencing loneliness still. At last he hears a lovely song, and thu ...more
Ruth Ann
Sep 10, 2010 Ruth Ann rated it it was ok
This is the story of a boy who has a passion for words . . . how they taste on his tongue, how they feel in his ears, and how they move his heart. He is called an oddball at school and is often lonely. After advice from a djinn in a dream, he realizes that he does have a passion, he just has to find a purpose.

I like all the vocabulary introduced in the book ( and the glossary in the back) but I found the story line lacking, though the themes and sentiment were excellent. Also, the style of artwo
This is a good book to introduce new words to students. In this book, it talks about a boy who loved words a lot and didn't know how to express them without being made fun of. He knew words and used words that nobody had heard of. He didn't want the words he knew of to go to waste. So he puts them on tree limbs and allows the wind to blow them away, and to allow people to use them to make poems. It is a cute book. Also, in the back of the book, there is a dictionary with the words they use in th ...more
Rebecca Ann
This was a great read with lots of fun words for kids to learn. There were even a few I didn't know, but luckily there is a listing in the back of the definitions. A bit too long for story-time, I'd recommend this as a one on one read. I loved the simple, paper-cut out illustrations with all the hidden words describing each scene. The story follows a boy who loves words so much he collects them in his pockets and socks. No one else understands his love of words until he realizes ways to share th ...more
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