This is a peanut-free book about competitive scrabble and finding your place in the world. Ambrose is a misfit. He has no friends; he doesn’t fit in at school. Then one day some kids put a peanut in his sandwich at school. This almost kills him since he is severely allergic to peanuts. His mom throws a fit and decides he needs to try correspondence school. So now he spends all his time in their basement apartment doing school work and playing scrabble with his mom. That is until he meets his upstairs landlords son Cosmo (the former drug addict who just got out of jail for breaking and entering) and convinces him to join the West Side Scrabble Club. Suddenly Ambrose has a place where he fits in and people who like him for who he is.
This was a wonderful book about a kid looking for a place of his own and finding it with the scrabble group. I really liked Ambrose. He was strange and unusual and his mouth often got him in trouble but he was very likeable as a main character. I liked his journey through the book. He starts out very sheltered and isolated and ends up with the whole world open to him. I think my only concerns about the book are that the mom comes off very one dimensional and hysterical throughout the entire book. She is often unlikeable and not someone you would root for. And there is entirely too many mentions of Ambrose taking a poo or having a diarrhea poo…TMI…really don’t need that information. Other than that I really enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it.