What You Need to Know:
• This is Meg Wolitzer’s first foray into children’s literature: she should visit more often!
• The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman is a middle grade novel about a group of endearing 12 year olds finding their way
through the maze that is the beginning of adolescence.
• Scrabble figures prominently in this story, but a knowledge or love of the game is not required to enjoy this very
human story of friendship, family and self-awareness.
• That said, Scrabble fans will be in heaven and the reader’s vocabulary can’t help but be boosted by a reading of The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman!
The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman is mainly the story of three tweens, all from different parts of the country who are striving to compete and win in the fictionalized national Youth Scrabble Tournament (YST) in Yakamee, Florida. The grand prize is $10,000. All three characters have their own personal reasons for needing to win, and it is to this reader’s great delight we get to go along on the ride with them…
… On the journey to the tournament each character faces real life issues with grace and strength, I admired them greatly. The adults in the book had a lot to learn from Duncan, Nate and April. Wolitzer apparently has a love of scrabble and knowledge of these youth tournaments, her son having competed in them. But the story is so much more than the tournament. Wolitzer’s humor and keen sense of observation humanizes these kids stories; the same thing she does with her adult literature. Wolitzer fans will enjoy introducing this novelist to their young readers, I know I did!
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