Word Nerd

Word Nerd

eBook - 2010
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Twelve-year-old Ambrose is a glass-half-full kind of guy. A self-described "friendless nerd," he moves from place to place every couple of years with his overprotective mother, Irene. When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich — even though they know he has a deathly allergy — Ambrose is philosophical. Irene, however, is not and decides that Ambrose will be home-schooled.
Alone in the evenings when Irene goes to work, Ambrose pesters Cosmo, the twenty-five-year-old son of the Greek landlords who live upstairs. Cosmo has just been released from jail for breaking and entering to support a drug habit. Quite by accident, Ambrose discovers that they share a love of Scrabble and coerces Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where Cosmo falls for Amanda, the club director. Posing as Ambrose's Big Brother to impress her, Cosmo is motivated to take Ambrose to the weekly meetings and to give him lessons in self-defense. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There's only one problem: Irene has no idea what Ambrose is up to.
In this brilliantly observed novel, author Susin Nielsen transports the reader to the world of competitive Scrabble as seen from the honest yet funny viewpoint of a boy who's searching for acceptance and for a place to call home.
Publisher: Tundra


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Nov 25, 2019

What is your first reaction when you have seen the title of this book? Did you think that it was about some book nerds? Well, at some point you are correct because the protagonist does have quite an awkward personality built by his overprotective mother. The protagonist is called Ambrose. His mom Irene, became almost out of her sane mind after the unfortunate car accident to her husband; she thought she was going to lose her son, too, just like her husband if she had not been cautious enough. Therefore, she kept Ambrose away from associating with the world. Because Ambrose, Ambrose barely knew how to do anything which made him the biggest nerd in the world. So, Ambrose grew up under his mother's sleeve. More disappointing, kids bully him at school because of his weirdness. When, at last, bullies from his old school almost killed him by deliberately slipping a peanut into his sandwich (He is deadly allergic to peanut), Irene determinedly decided that Ambrose will take correspondence classes from home. Home is the basement apartment in a house owned by a kind Greek couple. Surely Ambrose will be safe here. But unbeknownst to his mother, Ambrose strikes up an unlikely one-way friendship with the landlord’s son, Cosmo, based on the only thing they have in common: a love of Scrabble. Ambrose learned to play with his mother at the kitchen table where Cosmo learned to play in prison. When Ambrose convinces the reluctant Cosmo to take him to a Scrabble club, a small deception mushrooms and they both find much more than they bargained for, from run-ins with lowlifes to high romance. The ending is about how Ambrose finally stood up to his mom and could live more independently like other kids at his age; how he realized that he's finally good at something-scrabble; and most importantly, how he actually managed to make some friends. Ambrose was lucky (in my opinion) to have Cosmo as a friend. Although Cosmo has a former criminal record, he is still a good man with an upright personality. Since Ambrose is "new" to this world, he has finally got someone to look up to and learn from their behavior. I disliked the fact that Irene's personality has been distorted because of the death of Ambrose's father. She had changed dramatically in her personality that hardly anybody would sympathize her or consider her as a good mom. This book brought up some pensive feelings to me and I think that's what a good novel should be about. Thus I recommended it to my friends as soon as I finished the book. -@tiny_astronaut of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Nov 26, 2015

This is a page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. We're dealing with real people with real problems, and not much sugar coating. I'd recommend this for anyone looking for a good read.

CRRL_CraigG Jun 25, 2015

Nielsen’s book is a terrific one and a solid readalike for the Joey Pigza series by Jack Gantos (for younger readers) or for Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (for the older set). All of these stories deal with young people managing serious issues with humor and heart.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/word_nerd_neilsen

Aug 21, 2014

"Word Nerd", by Susin Nielson is just how I expected this fantastic author to write it ; emotional, crazy and relatable. The book centers around Ambrose, who struggles to find himself and truly be his own person. Ever since his father died, he's always been moving schools, losing friends, the usual. However, when he meets Cosmo, the teenage ex-criminal boy from upstairs, he realizes that they might have more in common than he thought. Throughout the book, Ambrose and Cosmo are pulled through several adventures. Tears are shed, fights are fought and things are said; but the book leaves you with a satisfying ending that leaves you wanting more.
Word Nerd is a book that leaves you thinking. The reader’s mindset grows throughout the novel as the characters do. Susin Nielson's books pull at your heartstrings and leave you feeling different after finishing them. The dialogue and plotline is very down-to-earth and sets a real-life atmosphere for the reader. The situations are realistic and they introduce something that every teen or young adult can relate to easily. The book has a heartwarming message and is written well, so it's relatable to any 12 to 16 year old. Even though it's a short book, it's a fun read and I'd love to read it again. I'd recommend this book to any 12 to 16 year old who wants a quick read, complete with lots of humour, a great moral and interesting references throughout the book that just make you love it even more.

Aug 08, 2014

I loved this book! Nielsen is an amazing author.

Sep 16, 2013

Truly enjoyable tale about acceptance and standing up for yourself. There were several laugh out loud moments. Ambrose appears to be destined for "loserville" until an unlikely father figure comes to his aid.

Feb 26, 2013

What could Ambrose, an overprotected and obnoxious seventh grader, possibly have in common with Cosmo, the ex-con living in the upstairs apartment? Why, they?re both Scrabble aficionados, of course! A humorous coming-of-age narrative that offers thoughtful writing and sound character development.

Dec 18, 2012

This book is very heart touching whenever something goes wrong. I highly recommend this book :) It also allows the reader to keep concentrating on the book. Soon you will find yourself finishing the book and groaning god I wanna read more :P

Jun 07, 2012

This story was hilarious!! Although sad at some events, it was awesome!

hungergames007 Feb 22, 2012

I know this is a old book, but when I read it I thougt it was sad how the bullys put penuts in his sandwhich when he was allergic to it. But what got be was that when i Read deat george clooney, I found out that the author wrote the book WORD NERD!! so i thought she is a really good author. So anyone who has read Dear george clooney, just think that she also wrote WORD NERD!!! So look for a copy and read it, youll like it!!!

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Dec 16, 2015

ginbubs thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

hungergameslover007 Feb 23, 2012

hungergameslover007 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 17

hungergames007 Feb 22, 2012

hungergames007 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 14

Dec 20, 2011

purple_Fame thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Feb 23, 2010

goldensunshine thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17


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