The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

Book - 2011
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Twelve-year-olds Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano meet at the Youth Scrabble Tournament where, although each has a different reason for attending and for needing to win, they realize that something more important is at stake than the grand prize.
Publisher: New York : Dutton Childrens Books, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780525423041
Branch Call Number: j Fiction Wol
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 22 cm


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vmccreedy Aug 09, 2014

"Question 1: What happens if I reach a new level and get stuck inside the Mindvault?"
Answer: If you reach one of the master levels, you should feel proud! But for those..." read Duncan. People read all the time, but what's special about what Duncan is doing is that he's reading with his eyes closed. No, not because he has memorized the book. He's never seen this game manual Alex has given him to read. Duncan is reading with his fingertips. No, not because the book is in Braille either. It's just a regular book.
You see, Duncan has a unique power. He can feel the letters on the page with his fingers. No one knows how Duncan is able to do this, and Duncan generally tries to keep this to himself, but he is oh so tired of being the new kid that everyone ignores in school, and so he decides to show off a bit, and this caught the eye of Carl. Carl who is going to represent the city in a Scrabble tournament. Carl who thinks "wait a second, if this guy can feel the letters on the tiles, then he can help pick good letters as he reach into the bag". Carl who thinks "bingo! I've got to get him on the Scrabble team."
An interesting realistic story for those who don't want anything magical or weird in their books. Okay, well, other than Duncan's fingertips, the story is really about a bunch of kids growing up and dealing with family expectations. The kids are pretty likeable, the parents seem a bit too extreme, and other than some unnecessary side storylines, it's a decent read for the Gr 4 and up crowd probably, for fans of Andrew Clements or Dan Gutman. You will also learn lots of Scrabble tips that may prompt you to dig out that gameboard from your closet.

SPL_Childrens Mar 03, 2014

The magical power of words is revealed in more than one way in this inventive story of three very different kids who love playing Scrabble – Duncan, April and Nate - as they prepare for the national Youth Scrabble Tournament. You don’t have to be a Scrabble fan to enjoy this book!

Feb 26, 2013

The Youth Scrabble Tournament in Florida serves as the battleground for this narrative, as Duncan, April, Nate, and their Scrabble partners seek to prove their skills. A funny, feel-good tale, with a healthy dose of Scrabble competition as well as thoughtful explorations of the non-Scrabble side of each character.

jazs Nov 29, 2011

NYTimes Notable Children's book for 2011

Cdnbookworm Nov 04, 2011

Duncan and his mom have been on their own together forever. When she loses her job in Michigan, the two head home to Drilling Falls, Pennsylvania and move in with his great aunt, Aunt Djuna, and his mom gets a job at Thriftee Mike's Warehouse. Duncan's mom has told him that his father, Joe Wright, died of a rare disease called panosis before he was born, but she doesn't like to talk about him.
Duncan is lonely, having lunch with the other new kid at school, Andrew Tanizaki, a loneliness only enhanced by his ill-begotten nickname Lunch Meat. So when he discovers he has special powers, he is surprised by his mother's insistence to keep them secret, but agrees.
In a rare move to make friends, he reveals his power to Andrew and immediately draws the attention of a boy at the next table. Carl gloms onto Duncan and insists that he be his partner for Scrabble, going to the upcoming Youth Scrabble Tournament in Florida. Carl is sure that he can use Duncan to win the tournament.
Across the country in Portland, Oregon, young April is also planning to attend the tournament. She is a non-athlete in an athletic family and feels that if she makes the sports network televised Scrabble finals, she will final get recognition by her family. In New York City, Nate is being groomed by his dad to win the tournament as well. Nate's dad is consumed with this goal, having lost the tournament himself when he was young.
The story of the three pairs of Scrabble players, the other players they meet at the tournament and the changes the tournament makes in all their lives is a good one, and will lead to lasting friendships. And Duncan's secret power is pretty cool too.


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SPL_Childrens Mar 03, 2014

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

Cdnbookworm Nov 04, 2011

Cdnbookworm thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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