Ambrose Bukowski is a twelve-year-old with a talent for mismatching his clothes, for saying the wrong thing at the worst possible time, and for words. In short, he's a self-described nerd. Making friends is especially hard because he and his overprotective mother, Irene, have had to move so often. And when bullies at his latest school almost kill him by deliberately slipping a peanut into his sandwich to set off his allergy, it's his mother who has the extreme reaction. From now on, Ambrose has to be home-schooled. Then Ambrose strikes up an unlikely friendship with the landlord's son, Cosmo, an ex-con who's been in prison. They have nothing in common except for Scrabble. But a small deception grows out of control when Ambrose convinces a reluctant Cosmo to take him to a Scrabble club. Could this spell disaster for Ambrose?
Ingenious and warm-hearted, Nielsen's writing boasts believable, unpredictable characterisation -- Imogen Russell Williams * Guardian * A wonderfully funny and emotionally engaging story -- Marilyn Brocklehurst, Bookseller's Choices * The Bookseller * Ambrose's voice is so authentic, endearing, kind and deliciously funny that he is totally believable. Readers will be swept up in his story and rooting for his success. * BookTrust * A feel-good story filled with memorable characters, and one that sneaks all sorts of truths about life past its readers too. -- Andrea Reece * Lovereading4Kids * Ambrose Bukowski is the titular nerd and it's in his delightful, disarming voice that Word Nerd unfolds ... a funny, wry tale * Globe and Mail *