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The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman Hardcover – September 20, 2011


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Hardcover, September 20, 2011
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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525423044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525423041
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.

More About the Author

I am a fiction writer who, like most writers, is happiest when I'm working. I have somewhat erratic work habits, and can go for weeks without producing much, then suddenly find myself in a whirlwind of productivity that lasts a long time and occupies most of my waking hours. Between those productive bouts I tend to read a lot, mostly contemporary novels, an activity that serves as a kind of re-fueling that I seem to need. I love being excited and keyed up by other people's novels; the best of them remind me of how powerful fiction can be.

Customer Reviews

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See all 22 customer reviews
Meg Wolitzer is one of my favorite adult authors.
Jennifer Byquist
Way across the country in Portland, Oregon, April Blunt is planning how she and her best friend, Lucy, will win the Youth Scrabble Tournament.
KidsReads
A fun, family-friendly novel that tells a sweet story while expressing the author's love for the excitement and nuances of Scrabble.
fifusweater

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This middle grades novel is told from three different points of view: Duncan, a 12-year-old from Pennsylvania; April, from Oregon; and Nate, from New York. All three have learned to play Scrabble extremely well: so well that they participate in the national Youth Scrabble Tournament in Florida. Each plays with a partner. Each plays for a different reason. April plays because she absolutely loves the game . . . and, she wants her sports-loving family to accept her talent as something worth cheering about. Nate plays because his father, Larry, forces him to. Twenty-six years earlier, Larry had also participated in the Youth Scrabble Tournament: he and his partner lost the championship round by one point. Now Larry acts as if his entire happiness depends on only one thing: Nate winning the championship.

Duncan, a new kid in his school, plays for another reason altogether. First, he thinks he's playing so that the other kids won't consider him a loser. A nobody. Then he thinks he's playing so that he can give his share of the winning team's money ($10,000 total) to his mother. But really, Duncan learns he's playing in order to do the right thing, not the wrong thing. And in order to learn who he really is.

This is a wonderful story, with strong, interesting 12-year-old heroes. The writing is also wonderful: smooth and funny. The story and writing remind me very much of the writing of E.L. Konigsburg. In addition to the superb story and commendable writing, there's a bonus: the reader picks up many tips for playing Scrabble. Highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Three 12-year-olds will eventually meet when they compete at the annual Youth Scrabble Tournament. Their stories, both separately and together, make for one delightful page-turner.

First up, we meet Duncan Dorfman, whose life has taken a downturn in spite of his newly discovered supernatural power, the one his mother earnestly urges him to keep secret because "If you don't, I'm afraid something bad will happen." Because Duncan's mom recently lost her job, she and Duncan moved back to Drilling Falls, Pennsylvania, the town in which she grew up. Duncan's great-aunt Djuna welcomed them into her house and managed to get Duncan's mom a job at the Thriftee Mike's Warehouse superstore. Unfortunately for Duncan, Aunt Djuna only cooks unappealing vegan fare.

Adding to his misery, his mom buys his clothes from her workplace, which means his wardrobe features shirts the exact hues of mustard, ketchup and relish. Duncan discovered his "power" just recently, when he found he could read through the fingertips of his left hand at will. For five miserable weeks at his new school, where he is mocked and ignored, he keeps his talent secret. But when he lets it slip to his only friend, bad boy Carl Slater overhears...and instantly believes Duncan's power is the way they will win the Youth Scrabble Tournament together. Duncan wants to play Scrabble and to be part of Carl's circle. He also knows his mother could certainly use the contest's prize money, yet he must wrestle with a moral quandary: If he uses his unique talent, is it cheating or not?

Way across the country in Portland, Oregon, April Blunt is planning how she and her best friend, Lucy, will win the Youth Scrabble Tournament.
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By Audra Sedillo on June 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a good book it will be a book I read over and over again.This year old man and
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Format: Paperback
Duncan Dorfman learns that he has a "power" early on in this fun tale about a middle-school grader who's trying to fit in at a new school. Duncan can read text through his fingertips, and while he tries to keep it a secret at first, he decides to reveal his power at school as a way to make himself stand out. He soon draws the attention of the school's scrabble whiz, Carl, who begins to groom him as a scrabble partner thinking that Duncan's skills and power can help them win the Youth Scrabble Tournament held in Florida.

Duncan has to make a lot of difficult decisions, but is willing to do just about anything to go to the tournament with Carl. Carl's mother pays for the trip and asks Duncan to pay her back by serving as a model in a cigarette advertising campaign. Carl goes along with this, but soon his conscience starts to bother him and he wonders if he's doing the right thing. He decides to try to win the tournament without using his power, telling Carl that he'll use it only when it's absolutely necessary. But can he bring himself to cheat?

This is a well-written and enjoyable exploration of moral quandaries for middle-school aged children. I recommend it for adults who enjoy children's literature as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meg Wolitzer is one of my favorite adult authors. This departure from her grown-up stuff doesn't disappoint. The characters are fun, relatable, but complex. There are great surprises and the story wraps up with a perfect ending.
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By Denise Mickelsen on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know how I failed to notice that this was a YA book when I bought it on my Kindle, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it completely. Especially if you enjoy Scrabble, you'll enjoy this story.
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By Teresa on January 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a gift to my daughter. The book was fun to read and recommended by her teachers. She truly enjoyed reading it!
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