Word Nerd

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Word Nerd

by Susin Nielsen

Tundra | May 11, 2010 | Trade Paperback

Word Nerd is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.
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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 264 pages, 7.62 × 5.28 × 0.6 in

Published: May 11, 2010

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 088776990X

ISBN - 13: 9780887769900

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ambrose is Bullied and He Captured my Heart Ambrose captured my heart! I love him so much, like a mother and as a vision of myself when I was 12/13. Ambrose is a nerd, gets picked on at school, has an overprotective single mother, wears strange clothes, speaks without thinking, has no social graces but can play a mean game of Scrabble. Ambrose probably has Asperger's but why he is this way isn't addressed; it's simply the story of a boy learning to be who he is, get along with others, and actually be happy. I fell in love with Ambrose right away as he reminded me of myself. I'm an aspie and saw myself in Ambrose in so many ways. He is a dear, tender child who often says the most awkward things as he has no filter before speaking. This isn't the story of his problem though, it is a story of a mother and son who, after thirteen years, finally learn to get on with there lives since the death of the father/husband. Ambrose uses Scrabble to get out into the world and meet people similar to himself thus giving him self-confidence and the strength to be firm with his mother as the two of them both ultimately struggle for a place to call home. Beautifully written, a page turner, and a book where I just wish I didn't have to say goodbye to the main character. Farewell, Ambrose.
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from scramble eggs This is a wonderfully funny heartwarming book. The characters are very real and likable. Anyone who grew up poor or was viciously teased as a youth can relate to the main character, Ambrose. He's a sweet kid and I was very sad to see the book end. I wanted to continue on his adventures. Without giving away the plot Ambrose is a very goofy kid with a good heart, nowhere to fit in, and an intensely overprotective mother. Bullying, autism, unlikely friendships, grief, and second chances are themes addressed in this book.
Date published: 2011-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book !! I think this book was great because the boy in the book has a peanut allergy, and so do I. This book can relate to students who have allergies and who would have to bring an Epi-Pen.
Date published: 2010-07-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from OK book i think this book was okay, but it defenietley wasn't my favourite. it gets sort of interestig in a few parts, but the string is always pulled a bit short, in my opinion. i like books that have a bit more depth to them ,and this one just stayed at the surface. i find it was a good book to fill spare time with, don't get me wrong, but it just pulled up short of my expectations. this book is a good read, and i know many of my friends found it relly great, but it isn't a book for everyone.
Date published: 2010-03-28

– More About This Product –

Word Nerd

by Susin Nielsen

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 264 pages, 7.62 × 5.28 × 0.6 in

Published: May 11, 2010

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 088776990X

ISBN - 13: 9780887769900

About the Book

Twelve-year-old Ambrose forms an unlikely friendship with his landlord's son, based on their love for Scrabble.

From the Publisher

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

“This is a tender, often funny story with some really interesting characters. It will appeal to word nerds, but even more to anyone who has ever longed for acceptance or had to fight unreasonable parental restrictions.”
— Starred Review from School Library Journal

“…a beautifully drawn character…. [a] funny, wry tale, a tale that involves a lot of Scrabble (at the championship level), the reformation of an ex-con/druggie and the coming-into-himself of a boy. And there’s a bit of love, too, actually.”
— The Globe and Mail


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gemini Award-winner Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew muffins and bologna sandwiches on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food (a fact that’s memorialized forever in a poem the cast wrote: “An ode to Susin, the Bran Muffin Queen, we eat them, we die, then we turn green”). Luckily for Susin, they saw a spark in a spec script she wrote. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit television show, and four of the books in the Degrassi book series. Since then, Nielsen, who has received two Canadian Screenwriter awards, has written and story-edited many TV series, including Ready or Not, Madison, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Edgemont, and two animated series, What About Mimi and Braceface. She co-created the pre-school series Franny’s Feet, and is the co-creator and showrunner of the critically acclaimed series Robson Arms. She also adapted author Susan Juby’s book, Alice, I Think, into a TV series. Nielsen has also published three children’s books: Hank and Fergus, winner of the Mr. Christie’s Silver Medal Award, Mormor Moves In, and The Magic Beads. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, Goran, son, Oskar, and cat, Sam.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a tender, often funny story with some really interesting characters. It will appeal to word nerds, but even more to anyone who has ever longed for acceptance or had to fight unreasonable parental restrictions.”
— Starred Review from School Library Journal

“…a beautifully drawn character…. [a] funny, wry tale, a tale that involves a lot of Scrabble (at the championship level), the reformation of an ex-con/druggie and the coming-into-himself of a boy. And there’s a bit of love, too, actually.”
— The Globe and Mail


From the Hardcover edition.

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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