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Review | Word Nerd


Title || Word Nerd    Author || Susin Nielsen 

Publisher || Penguin Random House Children's  Source || Review Copy 

Release Date || 6th October 2016 

Rating || 4/5 


Ambrose Bukowski is a twelve-year-old with a talent for mismatching his clothes, for saying the wrong thing at the worst possible time, and for words. In short, he’s a self-described nerd. Making friends is especially hard because he and his overprotective mother, Irene, have had to move so often. And when bullies at his latest school almost kill him by deliberately slipping a peanut into his sandwich to set off his allergy, it's his mother who has the extreme reaction. From now on, Ambrose has to be home-schooled.
Then Ambrose strikes up an unlikely friendship with the landlord's son, Cosmo, an ex-con who's been in prison. They have nothing in common except for Scrabble. But a small deception grows out of control when Ambrose convinces a reluctant Cosmo to take him to a Scrabble club. Could this spell disaster for Ambrose?


I have been somewhat severely drawn towards Young Adult (YA) books this summer and I have found such a wealth of enjoyment from books such as Word Nerd which I am looking forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks and months. 

Word Nerd has firmly secured a place in my heart for a long time to come by the depth of character each character has been given by Susin Nielsen. It's not your typical novel but one that has a strong moral compass and an adorable young man; Ambrose who is 12 and 3/4's. I adored him from the start, perhaps due to my penchant as a teaching assistant I am not one to run from a difficult child but rather embrace them wholly for who they are. Ambrose is a child that is perceived as the odd one out at school, and if I could have said one thing to him at the beginning of the book it would have been to keep on being HIM. I think by the end of the book Ambrose had come to terms with who he was, in fact I doubt he ever thought any less of himself. 


He's a clever boy who is protected profusely by his mother since she lost his father in the blink of an eye, something I think we can all empathise with, yet he has this unique ability as most children do, to see the good in everyone, including his neighbour's son Cosmo. Cosmo has just gotten out of prison and Ambrose warms to him and he never lets anything dull his vision of a man who can embrace the good in him, if only he believed in himself. Cosmo has no choice but to learn to tolerate Ambrose, because Ambrose is going nowhere. 

The storyline is based on a love of scrabble and how two of the most unlikeliest people in the world to become friends, actually do become like brothers. It was utterly heart warming and a joy to read. I can't wait to devour more of her work, starting with We Are Made of Molecules  

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