A Seven Letter Word by Kim Slater
Pages – 304
Released – 24th March 2016
Publisher – Macmillan Children’s Books
Genres – Young Adult and Contemporary
Rating – 4/5
Finley McIntosh is a scrabble genius with a severe stutter. He is a changed lad to the one that his mother left behind. One day she just vanished and now his Dad won’t even mention her name. The only things that are left behind for Finlet to remember his Mum by is a bag of scrabble tiles and an empty journal. Finley meets an online scrabble player that makes a chance remark that changes everything. Finley thinks he has found a major clue that might help him find his missing Mum. He will do everything that he possibly can do to find out the truth. Question is can he find his voice before it is too late.
This is such an inspirational story of a teenager trying to find his voice. Finley has to cope with so many problems, much more than any teenager should. His Dad chain-smokes, his Mum has just left him, he is getting bullied, all on top of his having a severe stutter.
This book covers a wide range of topics ranging from racism and bullying to family issues. I think this book is the perfect coming of age story because of the wide range of topics that it covers.
This is the first of Kim Slater’s books that I have read but now I cannot wait to read her debut book “Smart”. Kim Slater tells this story beautifully, she really captivates you and takes you into Finley’s world.
The variety of characters in this book I feel works really well. Finley is an extremely inspirational character who you empathise with throughout the book. Finley’s father again is someone you empathise with, he has just lost his wife and the struggles he faces because of this are really well written. Maryam is also an inspirational character she has to deal with a lot of racism being thrown her way and how she deals with this is incredible.
However, I would have loved to see more development of each of the characters. I got so drawn into this world that I really wish I had learnt more about each of them. Also I would have liked a bit more development of Finley’s mothers story arc.
Overall, this book is one I would recommend to many teenagers who are dealing with the many struggles of teenage life. Kim Slater tells this story beautifully and I can’t wait to read more of her books.