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.
A BookPage Best Children's Book
An ABA/ABC Summer New Voices Pick
A Summer New Voices List selection
"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
"The well-crafted characters, the hot Southern summer, and the coming-of-age events are 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. . . . This paper boy is a fighter and his hope fortifies and satisfies in equal measure.”—Booklist, Starred
“[A] tense, memorable story.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred
“Carefully crafted language, authenticity of setting and quirky characters that ring fully true all combine to make this a worthwhile read. . . . 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. 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.”—School Library Journal
“The protagonist tells his tale in short paragraphs that capture the way he imagines his own fluent speech—articulate, economical, and completely devoid of commas, since there are already too many pauses in his actual speech. Confidence born of his weeks of accomplishment eases his stutter somewhat, and readers will offer quiet but heartfelt congratulations when he finally utters his own name, which begins with the letter most difficult for him to pronounce.”—The Bulletin, Recommended
VINCE VAWTER, a native of Memphis, retired after a 40-year career in newspapers, most recently as the president and pubisher of the Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana. Paperboy is his first novel.