Excerpt from Paperboy by Vince Vawter, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Paperboy

by Vince Vawter

Paperboy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2013, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2014, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One

I'm typing about the stabbing for a good reason. I can't talk.

Without stuttering.

Plus I promised Mam I would never tell what happened to my yellowhandle knife. Mam might say that typing is cheating but I need to see the words on paper to make sure everything happened the way my brain remembers it. I trust words on paper a lot more than words in the air.

The funny way I talk is not so much like fat pigs in cartoons as I just get stuck on a sound and try to push the word out. Sometimes it comes out after a little pushing but other times I turn red in the face and lose my breath and get dizzy circles going around in my head. There's not much I can do about it except think of another word or keep on pushing.

The lady my parents hired to show me how to talk is teaching me to use a trick she calls Gentle Air which means letting out a little of my breath before getting stuck on a word. So when I feel like I'm going to have trouble saying a word I try to sneak up on it by making a hissing noise.

s-s-s-s.

When you're eleven years old it's better to be called a snake than a retard.

Some days if I've gotten stuck on a bunch of words at school I'll come home and put a piece of notebook paper in the typewriter that someone from my father's office brought to our house a long time ago and forgot to take back. The same one I'm typing these words on now. I peck out the words that gave me the most trouble for the day. My hands know where the letters are and I don't have to think up different tricks to help me push out a word.

I like the sound the typewriter key makes when it smacks the black ribbon because it's always the same. I never know what kinds of sounds are going to come out of my mouth. If anything happens to come out at all.

Just so you know. I hate commas. I leave them out of my typing any time I think I can get away with it. My composition teacher said a comma meant it was time for a pause. I pause all the time when I'm trying to talk whether I want to or not. Humongous pauses. I would rather type a gazillion ands than one little comma.

I type so much in my room that the white letters are wearing off the typewriter keys. But the key with the comma on it looks brand-new and it can stay that way if you ask me.

*

Mam came to Memphis from Mississippi when I was five to live with us and help take care of me and one thing's for sure. I wouldn't have made it this far without her.

Mam's real name is Miss Nellie Avent. My mother told me to call her Miss Nellie but that didn't work for me because of the N sound coming after the M sound. Mam was as close as I could come to saying her name and she allowed as how that suited her fine.

She said that we made a good pair because she couldn't write very well and I had the best handwriting she had ever seen for a little man. That's what she called me from the first day that she came to live with us. Little Man.

Mam is my best friend in all the world except when it comes to playing ball and then Rat takes over. His real name is Art.

He had it written in easy-to-read letters on his catcher's mitt on the first day of third grade but I had to nickname him Rat because the A sound wasn't going to come out of my mouth that day without giving me a bunch of trouble. He allowed as how Rat was okay with him and that made me like him from the start. He didn't even look like a rat but he understood quicker than most kids that Rat was the best I could do on his name because of the easy R sound. Mam calls him Mr. Rat which always cracks me up.

My stuttering probably makes me the best nicknamer in Memphis.

One of my hard baseball throws busted Rat in the mouth on the last day of sixth grade. That's the reason I told him I would handle his paper route for July so he could visit his grandparents on their farm outside Memphis. I didn't much want to take on the route but I thought I owed it to Rat for busting his lip. Rat says I show off too much with my hard throws and I guess he's right and I needed to pay for it.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Paperboy by Vince Vawter. Copyright © 2013 by Vince Vawter. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  A Peek Into Stuttering

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.