Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Seven Letter Word” as Want to Read:
A Seven Letter Word
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Seven Letter Word

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  592 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Finlay's mother vanished two years ago. And ever since then his stutter has become almost unbearable. Bullied at school and ignored by his father, the only way to get out the words which are bouncing around in his head is by writing long letters to his ma which he knows she will never read, and by playing Scrabble online. But when Finlay is befriended by an online Scrabble ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Macmillan Children's Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Seven Letter Word, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kaysha Anything in the genres: -Young Adult
-Contemporary …more
Anything in the genres: -Young Adult
-Contemporary (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  592 ratings  ·  80 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Seven Letter Word
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I feel as though I know Finlay personally. Gutted when the book ended.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful story. I fell in love with the main character Finley, and thought the storyline was just superb.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how easy this read. Finley is maybe somewhat naive but he is only fourteen.

I needed a easy read and this was perfect.
Annie Furness
I enjoyed the plot and how you saw the characters progress through a game but at points the plot was very drawn out and sometimes dull to read. In my opinion, the best bit was the beginning and the first few chapters where you are introduced to everyone and the plot is only just starting.
Lauren (My Expanding Bookshelf)
Actual Rating = 3.5/5

A Seven-Letter Word is a fun and quick read about a 14-year-old buy suffering from a stutter so the story is also quite sad at times. I did find the idea of the story pretty original, especially the way the story revolved around the board game, Scrabble. There is a different rule, tip or fact about Scrabble at the beginning of each chapter so it was actually quite interesting. The story also highlights certain words and the points they would gain a player in Scrabble.

I reall
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a book which was about a boy who had a stutter but ironically he had a stutter! It was a mystery book and it definitely had a very unpredictable end with a twist. I have now read 2 books by this author, Kim Slater. She is a very skillful writer whom I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading mystery books. I would rate this book 3/5!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story, full of learnings about love, family, sacrifice and perseverance.
Keen to reach the end, a very pleasant story, full of encouragement.
Easy to read, and food for the soul.
Touches sensitive topics about the bullying reality in schools.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The scrabble rang truer than Susin Nielsen’s ‘Word Nerd’. But the foreshadowing fell a little flat when everything turned out so nicely. I probably shouldn’t complain about this when I keep reading kids’ books though lol.
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finley McIntosh is a scrabble genius with a severe stutter. He is a changed lad to the one that his mother left behind. One day she just vanished and now his Dad won’t even mention her name. The only things that are left behind for Finlet to remember his Mum by is a bag of scrabble tiles and an empty journal. Finley meets an online scrabble player that makes a chance remark that changes everything. Finley thinks he has found a major clue that might help him find his missing Mum. He will do every ...more
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

A Seven-Letter Word was a quick and fun read that still got me thinking about certain things. It just didn't completely blow me away or anything, which is why I only give it 3 stars.

The main character Finlay stutters. And when his mother disappeared two years ago the stutter got even worse. He is bullied for it and avoids speaking most of the time. He used to play Scrabble with his mother and he i
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finlay has got more than one PROBLEM. He lives alone with his father, who chain-smokes in between trips out to do odd jobs for people, and seems to have reduced his worth to just one recipe since his wife, Finlay's mother, vanished two years ago. Things are still bitter with him – he says she might as well be dead – but the issue manifests itself badly with Finlay, and he has grown into suffering quite a severe STUTTER, which leads to no end of TEASING at school. His one way out, it seems, is fo ...more
Fiona Mackie
A second fantastic book by the author of Smart, which was one of my top reads in 2016. Finlay stammers, and this has gotten worse since his mother took off 2 years ago. He is being bullied and this is increasing in severity, but his dad is only just coping and doesn't really notice anything. There are two good things in Finlay's life - his hamster Neville, and online Scrabble, which has replaced the board version he and his mum played. Finlay makes a new friend, Alex, through this, as well as be ...more
Karen Barber
An easy read that will have you rooting for Finlay from the start.
Finlay has a stammer, but, ironically, is also a great Scrabble player. He uses Scrabble to remember his mum, who upped and left with no explanation some time ago.
There's a mystery there and, unsurprisingly, Finlay sorts everything out. One or two tense moments, and yet you always feel that things will be okay.
Like 'Smart', in this novel Slater manages to keep us engaged throughout and introduce us to an interesting cast of charac
Jean Kirby
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and think lots of others would like it too. I was pleased that the author did not find a simplistic cure for the main character's stammer. Kim Slater gives a good main plot and thought-provoking sub-plots involving the peripheral characters. ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016, nbhs
A gentle book about secrets, bullying, friendship and finding your voice.
Rebecca Sims
Enjoyable, but not a touch on 'Smart'. Good for junior readers, but a little basic for teens. Worth the read, but not outstanding. ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this as I thought it had and interesting plot and a good ending
A very heartfelt novel, that I feel within it, it had a lot of life lessons. Amongst the many things I appreciated in this novel, I think what I appreciated the most was the honesty that seemed to be oozing out of this novel. It was clear that Finlay's stammer was a large focus of the novel, and the author never shied away from that, it is definitely a confronting issue to face, and the author wrote about it in a respectful and creative manner.

Throughout the novel, it was awesome to watch Finla
Eve beinguniquebooks
Finlay is a young teen with a stammer and a talent for playing scrabble. It was him and his mum's thing to do but as his mum disappeared two years ago from him and his dad's lives and hasn't made contact since.

So when online playing scrabble, Alex, a stranger, starts talking to Finlay and coincidentally mentions they have had a new stepmum for the past two years and she walked out on her family, Finlay wants to investigate believing she could be his mum.

Meanwhile, he has to contend with the scho
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Seven-Letter Word is such a heartwarming story about friendship, family and being confident to overcome all obstacles that may arrive on one's path. For fourteen year old, Finlay who stammers and stutters with his speech, he has to deal with bullies and the person he loves walking away from his life. Its a journey of rediscovering himself along with the people around him through scrabble and mystery.

At first, I really thought it was a middle grade book and that was until I was drafting up my b
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kim Slater will be well known to readers for her previous middle grade titles, Smart, 928 Miles From Home and The Boy Who Lied. Her narrator is Finlay, a teenage boy who since his mother’s disappearance has been neglected and bullied. Her leaving left Finlay, who already had difficulties expressing himself, with a pronounced stutter; a feature that makes him a target at school. His place of refuge is the online game of SCRABBLE, a place where he can have success and express his thoughts. The opp ...more
Flora (Ludacris)
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I found the book on the library shelf, I thought it was gonna be scrabble words clues littered throughout the span of the book that will lead to the finding of the missing mom. It wasn't what I expected but nevertheless still a great read. Not sure why it's classified under Young Adult fiction though, but it was a heartwarming short read. Not very deep, but touched on every aspects of love and caring. Finlay's dad's love for him, his love for his wife, of course Finlay's love for her little ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always seem to find the best books when I’m not looking for them. I picked this one up because of the fact that the main character, Finlay, had a last name the same as someone I know.

This book I reckon is for any age really; it’s a mystery/reality about a teenage boy called Finlay McIntosh who has developed a stutter ever since his mum vanished. When Finlay meets Alex through online scrabble, he thinks Alex might have something to do with his Mum’s disappearance. The novel follows Finlay tryi
Ryan Brinn
This book was brilliant! It tells the story of a teenage boy who is left heartbroken when his mother leaves without a proper explanation or before he has a chance to say goodbye. He is a shy, reserved boy who often let's his stutter get the better of him in social situations. However, Finlay's determination grows throughout the book. He becomes a brave competitor in many respects as he progresses in his pursuits of friendship, acceptance, overcoming his stutter and searching for his mum. He come ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't overstate how much I loved this thoughtful, sensitive, warm book about a boy with a stammer who's looking for his mother. It also deals with racism and bullying very well. And if you like Scrabble, you'll be amazed at how intelligently Kim Slater uses the game throughout the book. Only mid-April and I've already found one of my favourite reads of the year. Now I want to read everything Kim Slater has written.
One quibble: The reference towards the end to a girl with long black hair and al
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light and heart-warming read. Exactly what I needed after reading a book that talks about heavy stuff. Even so, this is actually a sad story, kind of, if you can relate with the main character, Finlay. But I am glad the author didn't focus on that. I love all the characters development; Finlay, his dad, Maryam, and Oliver too. All in all it's a good story and im glad I've read it. It reminds me of my childhood.

Special thanks to my best friend, S, for giving me her copy of her favourite book. I
Lisa Farrell
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Next YTF book. A sweet story about Finlay, coping with the disappearance of his mother 2 years ago and living with a stammer. Scrabble is his outlet; it helps him make sense of the world. He meets an online player who seems to hold the key to his mother's whereabouts..but he ends up in a whole lot of trouble before things work out. A little far-fetched but Finlay is a likeable character and you really do end up rooting for him. ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a cute, charming read, especially for someone who's obsessed with scrabble. This book really reminded me why I love scrabble so much, and I might've finished the book yesterday had I not been distracted by playing the game (lol). Finlay was such a little cinnamon roll and I really appreciated the mystery aspect that this story brought forward as well. Although not one of my favourite books, it was definitely an enjoyable read! ...more
Maryam Asif
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy, loved
This was such a sweet book!!! I loved Finlay, though his narrative did sound a bit younger for a 14 year old boy, but that's okay. I loved the plot and the twist that happened towards the end. Finlay's journey to overcome his insecurities about his stutter was amazing and he really did have a character growth. This is an easy, quick, and enjoyable read, do check it out! ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Apple and Rain
  • Not If I See You First
  • Hour of the Bees
  • Confessions of an Imaginary Friend
  • Boy Underwater
  • Arctic Zoo
  • Clementine and Rudy
  • Flour Babies
  • A Boy Called Hope
  • Butter
  • Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)
  • The Bone Sparrow
  • Gloves Off
  • The Terrible Two Get Worse (The Terrible Two, #2)
  • Nooks & Crannies
  • Buried Child
  • A Good Hiding
  • Dosarul Popcorn (Detectivii aerieni, #1)
See similar books…
Librarian Note: Kim Slater is a pen name of K.L. Slater, at which site biographical information may be found. ...more

Related Articles

Angeline Boulley set out over a decade ago to write the story she wanted to read as a young Ojibwe teenager. The result is Firekeeper's Daughter,...
6 likes · 0 comments