Samantha's Reviews > The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer
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Feb 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

I LOVE Scrabble, but even if the sight of little wooden letter tiles doesn't bring a grin to your face as it does to mine I think there's more oh so much more to love about this book anyway. Duncan Dorfman is the new kid in school and isn't well liked, but he has a gift. The fingertips of his left hand can "read" text. With his eyes closed and never having read the text before, Duncan can read an entire book using only the fingertips of his left hand! This special talent catches the attention of Carl Slater, a kid who is no stranger to trouble and who knows his way around a Scrabble board. He quickly recruits Duncan to be his teammate and teaches him the ins and outs of the game so the two can travel to Yakamee, FL and play in the annual tournament.

The book follows other Scrabble teams preparing for Yakamee from places like New York and Portland. Everyone's got a different reason for enrolling in the tournament, but they all have at least one thing in common: they're playing to win! The author writes the best play-by-play account of a board game I've ever read, and includes Scrabble tips and strategies that would help even seasoned Scrabble players improve their score. The cast of characters are realistic, relatable, and make the reader feel genuinely invested in their stories and how everything resolves itself for everyone. This book has it all: humor, tension, mystery, action, and even a few jaw-dropping surprises! I'd recommend it for middle grade readers. Additionally, this would make a great book club pick because there's plenty to discuss and following the discussion you could whip out the Scrabble boards and let the games begin!
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