What if you had a unique power? What would you do with it? Hide it or would you show the world? Seventh grader Duncan Dorfman has a power that works in a very different way. His power is nothing like a super hero’s power. He can’t fly, shoot lasers, and he doesn’t have x-ray vision.
Duncan Dorfman is a young 7th grade boy who lives with his mom and Grandma. They don’t have a lot of money and struggle to pay the bills. Duncan has a special, unique power that works while he is playing Scrabble. Duncan’s power is that he can determine, without looking, which scrabble tiles will form words. He uses this power to compete in the National Scrabble Tournament. April Blunt lives with a family that is full of competitive jocks. But April is not into sports, she only play Scrabble. She is the odd one in her family. Nate Savino is being forced to play Scrabble! When his dad was younger he entered the Scrabble tournament but lost, so now he is pressuring his son to play Scrabble. Nate only wants to ride his skateboard with his friend. When the tournament starts Duncan, April, and Nate meet. At first they don’t like each other but after they told each other why they were playing, they became friends. But who will win? And would a win change one of their lives?
We both liked…
…how the book switched between the three characters’ points of view. It told us so much more about each character and we really liked hearing their stories, from their own perspectives.
…the character of Duncan. He was funny and so real! You will definitely fall right into his story and cheer for him along the way.
And now for our interview with author Meg Wolitzer…
I do love Scrabble, and I grew up playing it all the timewith my mom. Then, when I had my own children, we became kind of a Scrabble family ourselves. My younger son Charlie played with me all the time for years, though once he became a teenager, he pretty much stopped, I am sad to say. I still love to play, and I play a lot online these days.
2 – Why did you choose to write the book from three different points of view?
I enjoy trying to figure out the way different people feel. It felt a little limiting if I were just to write from Duncan’s point of view. I wanted to show three very different kids, and their entirely different motivations for going to the tournament. If I hadn’t done the three different points of view, it would have been harder to show why they were there, and what they hoped to achieve.
3 – If you were going to write a sequel – what would happen to Duncan, April, and Nate? Would they stay in touch?
Hmmm, I can’t imagine that I would ever really write a sequel! But if I did… maybe it would involve them trying out ANOTHER game, not Scrabble. Perhaps… chess? Or the game Go?
4 – We noticed on your website that you usually write adult fiction. What made you decide to write YA?
I wanted to write a book for my son Charlie, who at the time was really into Scrabble. I felt it was important to write a book that had a great boy character at the heart of it.
5 – Will you be writing more YA?
Yes! I have a second book to write for my publisher, and it will be pretty different from Duncan, though I am only just now starting it.
6 – Do you have any favorite YA authors or favorite YA novels? What Was your favorite novel when you were in middle school?
I always liked Judy Blume when I was young. And when my kids were little I loved to read Louis Sachar. Recently I read a fantastic book called Wonder, about a boy who is born with a very deformed face. It made me cry. I thought it was terrific. I am just not starting to read The Hunger Games. I may be the last person on earth to read it…
We would like to send a huge thank you to author Meg Wolitzer for stopping by and talking with us! Feel free to visit Meg’s site at – http://megwolitzer.com/
Jacob A. and Nick S., EMS Bloggers