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The Fingertips Of Duncan Dorfman (2011)

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman (2011)

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3.56 of 5 Votes: 3
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0525423044 (ISBN13: 9780525423041)
Dutton Juvenile

About book The Fingertips Of Duncan Dorfman (2011)

This novel is about scrabble. It includes all of the two letter words that are legal, and how to make a bingo and what a bingo bango bongo is. So if you are interested in scrabble, and word games, this book is for you. Not that you have to love scrabble. I don't love it, and am easily intimidated by other players who are. But I enjoyed this book because the three teams who face off at the Youth Scrabble Tournament are all from different parts of the country, with different family problems, and questions of identity, and still they share a common bond, which is ambition.Team one, Duncan Dorfman and Craig. Craig is a bully and a know it all in Drillers Falls Pennsylvania (I love the names of the places and the names of the characters.) He begins the school year making fun of Duncan, and is probably the boy who threw a piece of baloney on Duncan's back which resulted in his nickname, Lunch Meat.Duncan lives with his single mom whose only explanation about his missing father is that he died young of panosis. They are scraping by, living with his great aunt because they can't afford any other rent. One day Duncan discovers that he has a magical power, the ability to read with his fingertips. This makes him Craig's great ally since he assumes in a scrabble tournament, knowing which letters are in the tiles will help you win.Team two. April and Lucy from Portland, Oregon.April is a misfit in her family of jocks. They live from game to game. Her sister bounces a basketball against the wall of her hotel room, and thinks nothing of it. None of the children in the family recognize April for what she is, a word genius. Physical prowess is everything. April and her friend, Lucy, spend long hours practicing. April wants to prove to her family that scrabble is just as mighty an endeavor as any sport.Team three. Nate and Maxie.Nate's parents are divorced, and his father lost the scrabble tournament when he was twelve, and now he wants Nate to win in his place. The problem is even though Nate is pretty good at scrabble, he is not that interested in it. He lives to skateboard, listen to music. Maxie is a skater girl who goes along with Nate to the tournament. Nate has been home schooled by his dad mostly because he wants to keep him focused on winning the tournament. These characters were a bit less interesting to me perhaps because the adults especially seemed more like types than flesh and blood, especially Nate's dad, David Saviano. There are some witty dialogue and close matches, resulting in the inevitable showdown between two of our three protagonists. In addition to the suspense about who will actually win, there are two mysteries which Wolitzer solves handily. I also liked the attempts at treatment of class differences, though they were a bit cartoonish. Craig's mother for instance has lots of money and lives in the rich part of town but still smokes in her house and gets the boys to appear in a cigarette ad. I just didn't buy it, or the other bone headed ways that adults behaved. Still, I happily finished the book, and would recommend it to students who like realistic fiction. Duncan has an unusual power. He can read words through his fingertips. The special skill earns him a place on the Scrabble team at his school (so he can cheat). The good parts about this book are the backstories of the various Scrabble teams. I also liked the Scrabble strategies and word facts. There were things like lists of two letter words that will earn big points or words where the letter Q appears without the letter U. Very smart. I did not like the ending where Duncan's missing father is revealed. It deals with unplanned pregnancies, which bumps the book content into an older age range. I thought that part of the story was unnecessary.

Do You like book The Fingertips Of Duncan Dorfman (2011)?

Enjoyable quick read, but probably only if you like word games/scrabble.

Reading Olympic book andI chose it because I like to play scrabble.

A young adult story with a strong Scrabble theme! Great fun!

YHBA book


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