In this newfound era of Words with Friends, we've moved to experiencing Scrabble as fingerswipes on touch screens rather than a bag of wooden tiles and a scratch pad. Wolitzer returns the game to its table-top roots with this fantastic middle grade novel that follows three kids on their path to and through the Youth Scrabble Tournament.
All three have very good reasons to want to win, but as they meet each other, they find other things they want even more. With realistic, thoughtful writing, a solid dose of magic and just the right amount of Scrabble factoids, Duncan is the perfect gift for any young nerds in your life. Note: Best given alongside a Scrabble board, if you want to extend the game's spell after the last page and have a new Words with Friends competitor someday. --Stephanie Anderson (aka Bookavore), manager of WORD bookstore