The Last Newspaper Boy in America [NOOK Book]


Wil David can?t wait to take over his brother?s paper route. For years it has been tradition in his family to hand over the route to the next boy in line on his twelfth birthday?and Wil is just about to turn twelve and get his chance to put his sidearm throw into action. But when the newspaper company cancels delivery to Wil?s small town, it?s up to him to fight to save the ...
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The Last Newspaper Boy in America

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Wil David canÕt wait to take over his brotherÕs paper route. For years it has been tradition in his family to hand over the route to the next boy in line on his twelfth birthdayÑand Wil is just about to turn twelve and get his chance to put his sidearm throw into action. But when the newspaper company cancels delivery to WilÕs small town, itÕs up to him to fight to save the route. Along the way, he unravels a carnival mystery, exposes a con artist, rescues his little town, and becomes a true hero.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Corbett (Free Baseball), a journalist and PW contributor, writes an energetic story of a boy whose passion saves the spirit of his small town of Steele, Pa. Twelve-year-old Wil cannot wait to take over his brother Sonny's paper route, a job that has been in his family for decades. So when the publishers of the Cooper County Caller decide to cut costs by eliminating delivery to Steele, Wil takes action (“He has a tendency to argue his point until the other person collapses from fatigue,” his mother remarks). But Wil discovers that he has more to contend with than losing his job when the town clairvoyant gives him some ominous advice—“You must watch carefully.” His suspicion mounts when the Cooper County Fair opens and no one is able to win the large cash prize in the Cover the Spot game. In addition to trying to save his route, Wil assigns himself the task of solving that mystery (“Steele Boy Opens Investigation,” reads one of the headline-style chapter openers), bringing his community together in the process. Corbett's graceful dialogue, lovingly drawn characters and clever plot form a timely and refreshing tale. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Wil's twelfth birthday approaches, and he takes on the newspaper route from his brother, Sonny. It is the David family tradition to pass the paper route to the next in line. With much anticipation, Wil has been waiting for his turn to deliver the newspapers in the town of Steele, and he already has plans for the money he is going to earn. No sooner than the transition from Sonny to Wil, there is a phone call from the circulation manager of the newspaper, The Cooper County Caller. The Steele route of The Caller ends in 30 days because it is not considered to be a profitable one. Wil tries to find ways to save his delivery route. Meanwhile, he tries to uncover the con at one of the games at the fair. Enjoy the interesting characters in this story as you learn more about them as Wil attempts to save something more than just his paper route. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Wilson "Wil" David V has deep roots in Steele, Pennsylvania. His great-grandfather founded the small town; and like his father and brothers before him, Wil will become its newspaper carrier at the age of twelve. The problem: home delivery of that paper, the Cooper County Caller, is about to stop. The town is too tiny to make delivery cost-effective for the publishers. To keep the paper coming, Wil mounts a campaign complete with emails, petition and prize-winning essay. The plot twines round a large cast of quirky, well-drawn characters, including a no-nonsense judge, know-it-all neighbor girl and tricky carnival man. With today's tanking economy and floundering print media, author Sue Corbett rips her tale of hard-hit headlines straight from the headlines. The good news? She lets fly this novel as gracefully as Wil does the Caller from his bike. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—The David family has delivered the Cooper County Caller to residents of Steele, PA, for as long as anyone can remember. Wil's 12th birthday signals that he will take over for his older brother, and he's been practicing his tosses from his bike. When the circulation manager phones the day before his start date to inform him that the Caller has decided to discontinue home delivery, Wil is devastated. The more he thinks about it, the madder he gets: folks in his rural community rely on that paper for important news and employment opportunities. Many are jobless since the factory shut down, and TV reception is iffy with no cable service. Putting his stubborn streak to good use, Wil goes up against the big corporation that bought the paper. Chapter titles resembling newspaper headlines foreshadow what is to come. Like the author's Free Baseball (2006) and 12 Again (2002, both Dutton), this novel has a likable protagonist, engaging secondary characters, realistic dialogue, and a fast-moving plot that both seasoned and reluctant readers will enjoy. While Michael Winerip's "Adam Canfield" titles (Candlewick) focus on the inside workings of newspaper production, Corbett offers a timely look at how increased dependence on electronic news sources is impacting small newspapers and their audiences. Youngsters who have grown up surrounded by cable television and online news will have much to ponder after they have turned the final pages of this thought-provoking story.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Corbett stirs current events into an old-fashioned boy-makes-good tale with mixed results. Wilson Glenn David V, now 12, assumes his tiny town's newspaper route, a family tradition begun by his grandfather. Wil, a precocious homeschooler, intends saving his earnings for a laptop, but when The Cooper County Caller announces that it's cutting costs by eliminating home delivery for the town, the boy rises to a higher purpose. The overfull plot blends the five-day stint of a traveling fair (complete with a high-stakes, crooked game of chance that Wil's determined to expose) with his fight to galvanize public protest over The Caller's decision. Narrative tension wobbles under a load of issues: the town's poor economy, the Davids' rocky finances since the closure of the hairpin factory and the cable-less community's tenuous access to information. Corbett overworks Wil's futile attempt to acquire a recent newspaper story about events at the shady carnival's prior stop, and one wonders why an ailing town endures its founding family's lock on the sole newspaper route. A tidy resolution comes hastily together as "Wil of Steele" proves his mettle. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101140253
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 872,725
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 273 KB

Meet the Author

Sue Corbett is the daughter of Irish immigrants and grew up in a Long Island neighborhood very similar to the one depicted in 12 Again. Ms. Corbett has worked as a journalist for fifteen years in Missouri, South Carolina, Florida and, now, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and their three young children. As anyone who knows her will tell you, she really is half-Looney. However, she has only been twelve once. (So far.)

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012


    Is here

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  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Are you the last newspaper boy (or girl) in America?

    Follow this link to find out how you could win an autographed copy of The Last Newspaper Boy in America:

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2012

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    Posted August 21, 2010

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