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.
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
HONOR 2014 Newbery Honor Book