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.
Although Paperboy is appropriate for readers age ten and up, I think this novel will appeal to many adult readers looking for a reminder of the moment when one begins to see the world through a wider lens. (Reviewed by Sarah Tomp).
Starred Review. 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.
School Library Journal
The deliberate pacing and unique narration make Paperboy a memorable coming-of-age novel.
Rob Buyea, author of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again
An unforgettable boy and his unforgettable story. I loved it.
Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation of America 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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Kara Elizabeth Brooks Can you fall in love with a book? I really liked this book I thought it really "speaks to the people" in a way. It talks about situations that could to people now or situations that could have happened then. I really like all the characters in here because they are all... Read More
The author's note at the end of Paperboy recounts his own struggles with stuttering. He admits this story is largely autobiographical, which makes Little Man's description of his stuttering that much more poignant:
"The reason I hate talking to people who don't know me is because when they first see me I look like every other kid. Two eyes. Two arms. Two legs. Crew-cut hair. Nothing special. But when I open my mouth I turn into something else. Most people don't take the time to understand what's wrong with me and probably just figure I'm not right in the head"
Stuttering can manifest in the repetition or elongation of a particular sound, or in a complete stoppage of speech. The cause of stuttering, also sometimes referred to as stammering, is unclear. Studies indicate that stuttering most likely is due to genetic or neurophysiological causes, made worse by stress. Although stuttering occurs in both genders, boys are far more likely to experience this communication disability at some time in their development.
A sly, sharp-edged narrative about a small western Pennsylvania town and a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.
Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, is discovered hiding near to the body of his murdered classmate. Now the police are relying on Adam as the only witness to an appalling crime. But he can't tell the police what he sawor what he heard. Barely verbal on the best of days, Adam has retreated into a silent world that Cara, his mother, knows...
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