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A Seven Letter Word

by Kim Slater

‘My name is Finlay McIntosh. I can see OK, can hear perfectly fine and I can write really, really well. But the thing is, I can’t speak. I’m a st-st-st-stutterer. Hilarious, isn’t it? It’s like the word is there in my mouth, fully formed and then, just as it’s ready to leave my lips… POP! It jumps and ricochets and bounces around my gob. Except it isn’t funny at all, because there’s not a thing I can do about it.’

Finlay’s mother vanished two years ago. And ever since then his stutter has become almost unbearable. Bullied at school and ignored by his father, the only way to get out the words which are bouncing around in his head is by writing long letters to his ma which he knows she will never read, and by playing Scrabble online. But when Finlay is befriended by an online Scrabble player called Alex, everything changes. Could it be his mother secretly trying to contact him? Or is there something more sinister going on?

 



About Kim Slater

Kim Slater honed her storytelling skills as a child, writing macabre tales specially designed to scare her younger brother! A self-employed education-budget manager across several Nottinghamshire inner-city schools, she gained a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University at the age of forty and went on to pursue a MA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, Smart, has won four regional prizes and been shortlisted for over sixteen national and regional awards, including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the Federation of Children's Book Groups Prize and longlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal. Kim lives in Nottingham with her husband and has one grown-up daughter.



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