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.
Kali’s father is a snake catcher – the best in the village. Kali knows that is really something to be proud of, but at school he sometimes gets embarrassed. The other children seem to think there is something very strange about having a snake catcher for a father and eating things like fried termites for a snack. Plus, Kali is the teacher’s pet. How will he ever make friends?
A ten-year-old boy in Madrid tells about the hilarious misadventures of his family and friends.
Michael Terny is at his seventh school in four years and he knows that whatever he does, he will be ridiculed and pushed around. Michael is the fat kid. But Michael is also a lucid dreamer–he can recognize when he is dreaming and make the dream unfold exactly as he wants. Here he is safe and completely in control. Safe that is, until he finds the dream world and real world colliding , and a passage between the two promises more power than he has ever imagined. With the help of an unexpected friend at his new school, Michael plans how to use his power–to reward the good and wreak vengeance on the wicked.