Thursday, 5 May 2016

A Seven Letter Word by Kim Slater

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 305
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books 
Released: 24th of March 2016

'My name is Finlay McIntosh. I can see OK, can hear perfectly fine and I can write really, really well. But the thing is, I can't speak. I'm a st-st-st-stutterer. Hilarious, isn't it? It's like the word is there in my mouth, fully formed and then, just as it's ready to leave my lips . . . POP! It jumps and ricochets and bounces around my gob. Except it isn't funny at all, because there's not a thing I can do about it.'

Finlay's mother vanished two years ago. And ever since then his stutter has become almost unbearable. Bullied at school and ignored by his father, the only way to get out the words which are bouncing around in his head is by writing long letters to his ma which he knows she will never read, and by playing Scrabble online. But when Finlay is befriended by an online Scrabble player called Alex, everything changes. Could it be his mother secretly trying to contact him? Or is there something more sinister going on?

What  I Have to Say 

Often in books, I find that when there is dialogue to show stuttering, it just irritates me. But with A Seven Letter Word, I found it very easy to read those parts. It may be that it was well researched so the stutter was very realistic, or just that I felt more sympathy with the character, but it didn't seem to trip me up or slow down my reading or any of the other things that normally put me off. 

This book was the sort that you can fall into. The characters and the world are as easy to sympathize with and understand. Finlay'se attempts to find his mother and win the scrabble championships are ones that you can fully support and get behind.

I also really loved Maryam. I think that a fiery female former scrabble champion in a hijab was exactly what this book needed. Without her, it wouldn't have been the same book and she made a wonderful friend for Finlay while adding a bit of diversity to the book. 

With mystery, bullying and scrabble, you really can't go wrong with this A Seven Letter Word 

My thanks go to Macmillan for providing me with this copy to review. 

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