A Seven-Letter Word

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Review

It's a difficult time for Finlay. It's two years since his mother left the family home without any explanation. He is teased at school and essentially ignored by his father at home. Finlay also has a severe stammer, which has worsened since his mother's departure.

Language itself, however, is not a problem for Finlay - in fact, quite the opposite. He's a talented Scrabble player and finds satisfaction in the online and school Scrabble clubs. If only he could find out where his mother went and why. Could a mysterious online encounter provide some clues?

While the author has clearly done her research, the book is less about the 'issue' of Finlay's speech difficulties and more about the power of language and the search for friendship and truths. The book touches on bullying, racism, dishonesty, corruption, trust and internet safety, without becoming heavy or worthy. Marrying some unusual themes and a likeable protagonist, this an absorbing and well-paced mystery. 

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