KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > April 2014

KDL Recommends

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ISBN: 0385742444

Title: Paperboy

Author: Vince Vawter

KDL Description:


“During a transformative July a seventh grade boy who struggles to get words out without stuttering encounters evil and understands more about love and the workings of the soul as he takes over a friend’s newspaper route in Memphis, his still segregated hometown.”
—Helen K. at KDL’s Spencer Township Branch

Amazon Description:

A Newbery Honor Winner.

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book.

A Bankstreet Best Book of the Year.

A BookPage Best Children’s Book.

For fans of To Kill a Mockingbird, The King’s Speech, and The Help. A boy who stutters comes-of-age in the segregated South, during the summer that changes his life.

An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend’s paper route for the month of July, he knows he’ll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything.

The paper route poses challenges, but it’s a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble—and puts the boy’s life, as well as that of his family’s devoted housekeeper, in danger.

“[Vawter’s] characterization of Little Man feels deeply authentic, with . . . his fierce desire to be ‘somebody instead of just a kid who couldn’t talk right.’”—The Washington Post

“An unforgettable boy and his unforgettable story. I loved it.”—Rob Buyea, author of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again

Paperboy offers a penetrating look at both the mystery and the daily frustrations of stuttering. People of all ages will appreciate this positive and universal story as I did.”—Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation of America                             

“Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. But this has added dimension in the way it brilliantly gets readers inside the head of a boy who stutters.”—Booklist, Starred

 “[A] tense, memorable story.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred

“An engaging and heartfelt presentation that never whitewashes the difficult time and situation as Little Man comes of age.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Vawter portrays a protagonist so true to a disability that one cannot help but empathize with the difficult world of a stutterer.”—School Library Journal