Paperboy

Paperboy

4.7 6
by Vince Vawter
     
 

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*"Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird." —Booklist, Starred
 

"An unforgettable boy and his unforgettable story. I loved it!" —ROB BUYEA, author of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again
 
This Newbery Honor winner is perfect for fans of To Kill a Mockingbird,

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Overview

*"Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird." —Booklist, Starred
 

"An unforgettable boy and his unforgettable story. I loved it!" —ROB BUYEA, author of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again
 
This Newbery Honor winner is perfect 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.
 
Little Man 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’s not exactly looking forward to interacting with the customers. But it’s the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, who stirs up real trouble in Little Man’s life.
 
A Newbery Honor Award Winner
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book
An IRA Children’s and Young Adults’ Choice
An IRA Teachers’ Choice
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
A National Parenting Publications Award Honor Book
A BookPage Best Children’s Book
An ABC New Voices Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Recording
An ALA-YALSA Amazing Audiobook
A Mississippi Magnolia State Award List Selection

 
“[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
 
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.” —Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation of America
 
*“[A] tense, memorable story.” —Publishers 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

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The name of debut novelist Vawter’s 11-year-old protagonist, Vincent Vollmer III, doesn’t appear until the very end of this tense, memorable story—Vincent’s stutter prevents him from pronouncing it. Vincent is an excellent listener and a keen observer, and the summer of 1959 presents him with the challenge of taking over a friend’s paper route in segregated Memphis. He engages with several neighborhood customers and characters while on the job, gaining new awareness of varied adult worlds, racial tension, and inequality, as well as getting into some dangerous situations. Vawter draws from his own childhood experience at a time “when modern speech therapy techniques were in their infancy,” he writes in an endnote, calling the story “more memoir than fiction.” The story unfolds as Vincent’s typewritten account of the summer, and inventive syntax is used throughout. Commas and quotation marks are verboten—Vincent isn’t a fan of the former, since he has enough extra pauses in his life already—and extra spaces appear between paragraphs, all subtly highlighting his uneasy relationship with the spoken word. Ages 10–up. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. (May)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, March 18, 2013:
“[A] tense, memorable story.”

Starred Review, Booklist, April 15, 2013:
“The well-crafted characters, the hot Southern summer, and the coming-of-age events are reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird… This paper boy is a fighter and his hope fortifies and satisfies in equal measure.”

"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, but it will be particularly meaningful to anyone who has ever struggled with stuttering."—Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation of America

"[A] compelling first-person narrative." —The Washington Post

"A memorable coming-of-age novel." —School Library Journal

“In a compelling climax, he, still stuttering, proudly announces his real name; the moment is as eloquent as his story.” —The Horn Book

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—After an overthrown baseball busts his best friend's lip, 11-year-old Victor Vollmer takes over the boy's paper route. This is a particularly daunting task for the able-armed Victor, as he has a prominent stutter that embarrasses him and causes him to generally withdraw from the world. Through the paper route he meets a number of people, gains a much-needed sense of self and community, and has a life-threatening showdown with a local cart man. The story follows the boy's 1959 Memphis summer with a slow but satisfying pace that builds to a storm of violence. The first-person narrative is told in small, powerful block paragraphs without commas, which the stuttering narrator loathes. Vawter portrays a protagonist so true to a disability that one cannot help but empathize with the difficult world of a stutterer. Yet, Victor's story has much broader appeal as the boy begins to mature and redefine his relationship with his parents, think about his aspirations for the future, and explore his budding spirituality. The deliberate pacing and unique narration make Paperboy a memorable coming-of-age novel.—Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Little Man, whose real name isn't revealed until the conclusion, stutters badly, a situation that presents new difficulties now that he's taken over his friend's paper route for a month. Debut author Vawter depicts a harshly segregated 1959 Memphis, and since the tale is highly autobiographical, he captures a full and realistic flavor of the time. Little Man, as he's called by his brave, black live-in housekeeper, Mam, has a few less-than-effective strategies that he employs to control his stutter, but it dominates his life nonetheless. Along the paper route, he encounters three fully rounded characters who make their mark on the story: Mrs. Worthington, a young, attractive and abused wife who drinks too much and awakens in Little Man a new, albeit very safe, interest in the opposite sex; Mr. Spiro, a widely read retired seaman who offers Little Man heartfelt advice and insightful support; and scary junkman Ara T, who steals Little Man's knife and evolves into a looming threat both to the boy and Mam. Carefully crafted language, authenticity of setting and quirky characters that ring fully true all combine to make this a worthwhile read. Although Little Man's stutter holds up dialogue, that annoyance also powerfully reflects its stultifying impact on his life. An engaging and heartfelt presentation that never whitewashes the difficult time and situation as Little Man comes of age. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375990588
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,424,437
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

VINCE VAWTER, a native of Memphis, retired after a forty-year career in newspapers, most recently as the president and publisher of the Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana. Paperboy is his first novel.

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