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The Boy Who Loved Words

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  789 ratings  ·  167 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
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Schwartz & Wade
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  789 ratings  ·  167 reviews

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Now considering that I have always loved words and have advanced degrees in German literature, I was really expecting to absolutely adore Roni Schotter's The Boy Who Loved Words (as while I might not collect them like Selig does, I do have a weakness for word based games, vocabulary lists and simply reading dictionaries for fun). However, while I have to a certain extent and indeed mildly appreciated certain aspects of The Boy Who Loved Words (mostly the detailed glossaries at the back), I have ...more
Lisa Vegan
Apr 15, 2011 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
Aug 17, 2009 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
Jun 23, 2011 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
May 11, 2016 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
Braelyn Carwile
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
The boy who loved words is about a boy named Selig who collects words he writes words down on a scrap piece of paper. One day on his way to find his purpose, the words he carries get too heavy so he put them in a tree. This leads him to share his words with other people.
I enjoyed this book, but it might be difficult to for beginner readers. I found myself having to look at some of the words more closely in order to pronounce them correctly. I really liked the words in the illustrations and how
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
This was alright. I love the idea of it and certain aspects make it really neat, like the focus on the more interesting and unique words out there as well as the accompanying glossary in the back. However, the story itself seemed a bit lacking in...something, though I'm not sure what. The illustrations were pretty at times but not a favorite.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A boy loves words more than anything. He likes to collect them. One day he meets Melody and Poet and his life is complete.
Cierra Garrison
Feb 22, 2015 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
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!
Ashley Meyer
Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. It talked about what every kid is curious about, words and vocabulary. I didn't like how he just heard a word and then wrote it down. He didn't find out what it meant. Students are going to need an explanation on what the word means and they are going to have no idea by just hearing a funny word and then writing it down. I would not share this book.
Sep 25, 2013 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.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Summary: The main character, Selig, is passionate about collecting words. While his peers enjoy playing and hanging out with friends, Selig prefers writing down words that interest him on slips of paper that he carries around with him. Although Selig is made fun of by his peers, he receives affirmation from a genie who appears to him in a dream and counsels him to seek a purpose to match his passion. Selig then makes the world a better place by traveling and literally "spreading the word"--his ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
"In this Parents’ Choice Gold Award–winning book, Selig collects words, 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". (from:

“There are in this world people who are born collectors”.
Corri Moran
Selig loves words and collects them as someone may collect rocks. He received the nickname Wordsworth and was bullied for being an oddball, but he sets out to find his purpose. He soon realizes everyone searches for the perfect word sometimes, and he can provide them one.

This is a creative story about a young boy interested in words who is able to help others find the right word to use for any situation. I love how the author italicized the words in the glossary and provided kid-friendly
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: award-winning
Awards: Parents' Choice

Appropriate grade level(s):3-5th

Summary: Seling, also called Wordsworth, is a boy loves words and collects ones that he particularly enjoys. Because of this, he gets picked on by his peers. After meeting a genie in his sleep and finding his purpose, Seling, and many years later with his wife Melody, spreads the joy of words to everyone.

Review: I love the simple message this book gives to young readers- that being different is okay. Not only does this book teach a
Elizabeth Lancaster
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-350
This book is about a boy named Selig who loves to collect words. Despite his passion for words, Selig realizes that he is missing a purpose. He sets out and finds that his purpose is to help others find the words they need. Despite finding a purpose, Selig is still lonely until he meets Melody, a girl with a passion for song. Together they help anyone who is in need of a word or a tune.

I loved this book. It was so cute and the illustrations were different than anything I had seen before.

May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winning
"The Boy Who Loved Words" by Roni Schotter is a wonderful book that can be utilized by both parents and teachers to get children interested in words. I love the overall concept of this book, how it tells a story about a boy while having the underlying theme that children have the innate desire to learn and should be curious to discovery new vocabulary in their learning; it may also inspire them to be excited to share their knowledge with others. The illustrations are abstract and unique, each ...more
Gianna Petrillo
1. Parent's Choice Gold Award
2. Grades 3-5
3. This book is about a boy named Selig who loved words. It was obvious that his love for words made him different and isolated him from his peers. He learned that his love for words made him unique and that it was okay to be that way.
4. I love this book between the pictures and the context itself, this book is a must read for children. The best part about this book is that it has words in it that children aren't often expose to. Which ultimately has
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Grade range: 5-6
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
All throughout this book, all I could think about was how wonderful it would be to pair this book up with a vocab test for the week. You can start by reading and applying the words in the story, then all throughout the week encourage kids to use and find where to use these words in real life, just like the little boy in the story! It would be wonderful!
Barbara Lovejoy
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although words have often fascinated me, my interest in them has been reawakened since Pres Trump's campaign and election. His overuse of number of different words drove me crazy...and continues to do so. Therefore, this book piqued my interest. It is wonderful! It has inspired me to start my own collection of words. :)
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book is a fictional book about a boy named Selig. Selig loves words and he collects them on pieces of paper. He is an "oddball" in his class but realizes throughout the book that his love of words is a gift that should be shared.
This book is best for kindergarten through third grade. I would use this book when teaching students how to improve their writing with vocabulary.
Nicole Lannertone
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best children's books I've ever read. If you feel a warmth and completion when you come across the perfect word for a feeling or circumstance, then you will be positively charmed by this tale.
Must love words.
Kris Dersch
Cute enough story of a boy who becomes a man and along the way loves words and learns to share them. The vocabulary is delicious and the book is fine, but Peter Reynolds "The Word Collector" is wayyy better.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kid-books
I read this to a 3rd grade class for ELA and an activity on why we build vocabulary. The students did not seem to grasp the concept of this text. I would read it to a class of higher readers in 3rd potentially 4th grade.
Julia Stephenson
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
There really weren't any plots, but learning about Selig and his love for words reminds me of how much I appreciate words as well.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An ideal book to introduce preschoolers to big words. It' illustrated by one of my favorites, Giselle Potter!
Amanda S.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this!
The bright illustrations...
The beautiful vocabulary...
The message of passion
Leading way to purpose...
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Clever story. I recommend it for elementary school ages. I used it as a hook for a middle school word project and it didn’t hook them as well as I had liked.
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