A Seven Letter Word
by Kim Slater
My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: Middle grade fiction
When Finlay’s mom disappeared, his mild stutter grew to epic proportions. He speaks as little as he can get away with, but that doesn’t stop him from being bullied by his peers and treated as ignorant by adults. He escapes into the world of Scrabble, where he can communicate with the tiles. Then, when he meets someone in an online Scrabble community, someone who he begins to suspect holds some kind of clue as to his mom’s whereabouts, Finlay latches onto the possibility for all he’s worth.
I took my time getting to this review. The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with the book, but it just didn’t really stand out to me. I felt for Finlay and can’t help but feel my ire raised when reading books where the character is bullied this badly. And I liked the relationship that developed with Maryam; I’m a fan of unlikely friendships. The story that unfolded with the mysterious online entity was only part of the story, but was certainly the driving intrigue. And though I appreciated the end of the book as well, what I was left with is that it’s a decent book, but not a stand-out read. Still, I do think that a lot of fans of realistic, contemporary middle grade fiction will probably enjoy this book.
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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!