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The Word Eater
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The Word Eater

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  807 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Life is miserable for sixth-grader Lerner Chanse at her new school, where the MPOOE (Most Powerful Ones on Earth) Club ruthlessly rules over the SLUGs (Sorry Losers Under Ground). Then Lerner accidentally discovers that her pet worm Fip eats paper - with startling results...When he eats a label with the words "Mack's Thumbtacks," all Mack's thumbtacks instantly vanish and ...more
Paperback, 151 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Holiday House (first published April 1st 2000)
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Carol Royce Owen
Jan 11, 2014 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
After having just read Guitar Notes, I thought I'd look to see what else Mary Amato has written and saw this title and realized it has been on my bookshelf for a while. So glad I did because it's a fun fantasy that deals with bullying and that ever-present desire to fit in. Sixth grader, Lerner Chanse has just moved to a new school in a new state, and is NOT happy about it. At this school she funds that 6th grade is divided between the MPOOEs (Most Powerful Ones On Earth) led by Reba who determ ...more
Oct 31, 2015 elissa rated it really liked it
We read and enjoyed this as a family read-aloud when my kids were about 5 & 7 or so. I'm surprised that I've forgotten to review it before now. My family knows the author, who has written lots of well-reviewed books.
Nov 25, 2012 Brenda rated it really liked it
What does the birth of a worm and the initiation of a sixth grader have in common? Well in The Word Eater they begin in the same moment, neither go well and both set in motion actions that will change the world.

Reba – president of MPOOE (Most Powerful Ones on Earth) seems to rule sixth grade at Cleveland Park Middle School along with Randy. They have divided the class into members or SLUGs. Lerner has just moved to this school, this town, this state and she is not too impressed with what she fin
May 13, 2013 Jnase1 rated it really liked it
This story started off very strange... in a clan of worms deciding the fate of its newest born member. Then it gets stranger when that worm, whose name is Fip, is left to die and ends up having a strange magical power. Whatever word it eats, that thing disappears. For example, it ate the name of a certain type of thumbtack and suddenly all those thumbtacks disappeared. Weird.

Meanwhile, over at Cleveland Park Middle School, sixth grader Lerner Chanse is having life issues of her own. Being the ne
D'andre Anthony
1.I like the book because it has advnture and mystery.In page number 10 lerner found a worm eating words that said macks thumbtacks and was going to pick it up.Also in page number 25 lerner saw the worm eating photosynthesis and in 5 min photosynthesis was gone.

2.I think my auntie would like this book because it is about advnture mystery and worms. Also my auntie likes books that has advnture mystery and worms.she is always reads books that has worms in it.

3.I think the thing that was most chall
Jul 01, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I think I have read this book too many times. But I have always thought it was such a cool book.

It is an easy read, yes. But I think, in some respect, it is a classic, which is why I have read it so much.

I don't feel like writing a summary, and this is a 'review' anyways (or it supposedly is...). But if you haven't read it, do read it at some point. It is a quality book, even though it is meant for 'younger readers.'
Paula Lyle
May 03, 2014 Paula Lyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: school, 2014
I just finished reading this to this Year's class and it was popular again. It's an interesting question for kids: How much could/should you change things if you have power? Nice selection of characters with some changing and growing (my kids were surprised about Bobby) and some staying stubbornly the same. I do recommend this for elementary.
Maggie Klipp
Dec 03, 2013 Maggie Klipp rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-stories
This book follows a young girl in elementary school who finds a worm that eats words. What she did not know was that when the words were eaten, that aspect of something or that something would disappear forever within the context of the sentence the word was taken from. Many events transpire as a result of the worm eating certain words that have dire consequences for companies and people alike. For example, when certain words are eaten, dogs that are trained to be vicious and unrelenting as guar ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Catherine rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This fun little book shows the value of words - what happens when they are taken away and how we should be careful with our words. I like that this books shows how even good people can make mistakes and people we think are bad can have good in them.

I want a worm eater to get rid of cancer, seizures, and depression.
Oct 31, 2014 Eugenia rated it liked it
May have liked it if I read this as a child, but parts of it contrived. Somewhat glad there's no love triangle - tired of reading about romance in almost every book, even children and YA -_-
Apr 16, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! I didn't think I would, but it turned out to be really interesting. Surprisingly, it's about power. The power one girl has over her classmates and the cosmic power one worm has over the universe. Highly recommended.
Ashley Minnnich
Nov 11, 2015 Ashley Minnnich rated it it was amazing
I'm currently going through my elementary school logs and adding all my books. I don't remember several of them, but I remember this book being a very entertaining read!
Bea Elwood
Apr 22, 2015 Bea Elwood rated it liked it
Shelves: sixth-grade
A fast read, good character development and conversation worthy moral dilemmas. A good selection for struggling readers.
OK piece of school fantasy- when a worm eats words off a page, the corresponding things disappear.
Oct 15, 2015 librariantracy rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, 2015-reads
Began a little slow but was a cute story with some great talking points for a kids' book club.
Steve Clark
Jun 20, 2011 Steve Clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is definitely a KID'S book, but a fun one that is not like everything else out there. Very simple story with a pretty fantastic premise (a worm eats words off the page, causing whatever it eats to disappear from the world) but eventually it approaches some fairly sophisticated ideas--given that it's addressed to 3rd-5th graders. The responsibility that comes with power, the problem of unexpected/unforeseen consequences, and the beauty and power of words (along with issues of peer pressure a ...more
Julianna Schock
i read this in third grade and loved it but i dont like it so much anymore!
Nov 21, 2015 Eliana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-l
A bit of what kids go through at school mixed with a little bit of magic. L liked it.
Layla Ellis
Jul 26, 2015 Layla Ellis rated it really liked it
Shelves: right-up-there
This book first presented me with a decent story. By the end I was nearly in tears!
Jun 30, 2015 Melyza rated it it was ok
it is really gross because who eats words ps do not eat words
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 18, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it liked it
Shelves: word-play
The worm eats words and they disappear.
Apr 27, 2014 Mo rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book from my childhood.
Sep 30, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent read!
Sep 25, 2015 Gwendolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Loved this book as a kid
Kellianne Copeland
Jun 17, 2015 Kellianne Copeland rated it liked it
It was a cute book.
Oct 04, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
It was a very good book
Aidan Michael
Mar 26, 2015 Aidan Michael rated it really liked it
A superb book.
Bill Prosser
Aug 25, 2007 Bill Prosser rated it liked it
Found this while going through the shelves for "under used" books! It's from 2000, but the story is pretty good, and the concept is even better. A student finds a worm that eat printed words, and then whatever word is eaten, all of those things disappear from the world. It has great potential for discussion and writing about what would students choose for the worm to eat, and the ripple effects that would have in the world. It also has the idea of popular kids vs. the unpopular kids, and how tha ...more
Lisa Thornburg
Apr 13, 2013 Lisa Thornburg rated it really liked it
This is such a cute book for elementary school kids. I love the story line and the concept. How fun would it be to have a worm that could make words disappear. This is a story about a young girl who finds a "magical" worm. He does not like to eat dirt, but loves to eat words. When he eats a word like vending machine then all vending machines disappear. If this worm falls into the wrong hands then things could go wrong very fast.
May 21, 2012 Kesha rated it really liked it
This magical tale has so much potential, however Lerner Chanse (what a great character name)annoyed me as since she was so careless with the magical, word eating worm. I could not imagine a possessor of a gem like Fip, the magical worm, revealing its abilities so willy nilly. The denouement is a clever one. Overall the story is a clever, quick read with weak character development. Bobby Nitz is the most believable character.
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Born January 3, 1961, in Belvidere, IL; grew up in Libertyville, Illinois; married Ivan Amato (a science writer); children: Maxwell, Simon. Pets: Sorry, none! Favorite food: Chocolate.

I studied special education and dance at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. In graduate school, I studied fiction writing and poetry at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.
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“Words are so wonderful to read, so nourishing to the mind. But really! It's just a fantasy. One doesn't eat words! one reads them” 7 likes
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