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The Last Newspaper Boy in America

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  239 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Big Heart + Big Brain = Funny, Feel Good Fiction! Wil?s sidearm throw can land a paper on your porch from twenty yards out. But he doesn?t know if he?ll be able to put his unusual talent to use because the big newspaper company has canceled delivery to Wil?s small town.

Well, that was the paper?s first mistake. Underestimating Wil was the second. With physics, his clueless
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers (first published August 29th 2009)
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Lorraine Stinson
Feb 26, 2012 Lorraine Stinson rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2015 Allen rated it really liked it
At first glance of the cover and title of The Last Newspaper Boy in America, I had expectations that the book would be about the subsiding activity of the newspaper delivering industry, as everything is being transferred into an age of technology. I was expecting more of a history lesson within the book, but to my surprise the book beat my expectations with a clear margin, as it had a creative story within.

Wil, also known as Wil of Steele, who has been practicing his newspaper throwing skills, h
Mar 18, 2010 Jen rated it it was ok
I think this book suffered from my extremely high expectations, since I assumed it was a book about the demise of the newspaper industry, and it is written by a Publishers' Weekly book reviewer. They were not met.

Wil David will carry on the family tradition of becoming his town's paper boy on his 12th birthday. But the day before, he learns the paper is cancelling delivery service to his town because it doesn't generate enough advertising revenue. His attempt to save the service hinges on a poss
Feb 10, 2010 Moira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
I don't usually review children's books, because I like to use this site to be totally honest about what I have read and I don't want to offend a friend or future friend in the children's writer field. But since I only have great things to say about this book, I decided it was OK.

I started off thinking that I might not like this book - wasn't totally into the subject matter. But after a chapter or two, I was totally hooked (OK, I love a good mystery!). Corbett does a masterful job taking the re
Oct 21, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
Wil has been hurling newspapers with bullseye-on-the-front-porch accuracy since he was 3, but he had to wait until he was 12 to take over the paper route handed down through his family. But the morning of his birthday, he finds out that the newspaper is stopping home delivery to the depressed town of Steele. A mix of realistic fiction, quirky characters, adventure and heartfelt humor make this paper tale a winner for me, and I particularly like the chapter titles (Steel Boy Inks Outraged Message ...more
Sandra Stiles
Oct 31, 2009 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
I grew up in the country but still remember my cousins who lived in town having a paper route. Will can’t wait until he turns twelve. He only has to wait one day for that to happen. He will then be able to take over his brother’s route. This route has been handed down generation after generation and Wil is excited to carry on the tradition. Then Wil receives the call that tells him the paper route is to be cancelled in his town. Wil of Steele is his nickname and it fits. Wil sets the wheels in ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Ruby rated it really liked it
As corny as it is, the first word that comes to mind about this book is "delightful". It's the perfect coming of age boys young adult novel. "Will of steel", as his family calls him, is finally turning 12 and has been shadowing his brother for months in anticipation of finally getting his turn as the fifth generation to take over the town paper run. Only to find out, on his birthday, that home paper delivery is being cancelled in his town - a failed factory town where most of the men are ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Moving, like Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson, with just the right amount of everything.
mitchell k dwyer
Dec 28, 2011 mitchell k dwyer rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
The men in Will David's family have delivered the daily newspaper in the tiny town of Steele, Pennsylvania for a long time, the job passing to each son as soon as he turns twelve. It's finally Will's turn to assume the role, but the newspaper announces that it will no longer offer home delivery in Steele because it's no longer profitable to do so.

It's an insult to the residents of Steele, who have struggled since the closing of the hairpin factory around which Steele was built (by Will's grandfa
Grades 4-7
The David family has delivered The Cooper County Caller to residents of Steele, PA for as long as anyone can remember. Wil David’s twelfth birthday signals the day that he will take over delivery from his older brother Sonny, and he’s been practicing his tosses from his bike. When the circulation manager calls Sonny the day before Wil’s birthday to let the family know that the Caller has decided to discontinue home delivery in Steele in a cost-cutting measure, Wil is devastated. The mo
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Mar 06, 2012 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-life
Wilson David the fifth, or “Wil,” for short, is about to turn 12 years old. He can’t wait for his birthday because it signals the day he can take over his older brother’s paper route. The David boys have delivered The Cooper County Caller newspaper to the people in tiny Steele, Pennsylvania for as long as anyone can remember. The first David boy to deliver the route was Wil’s Grandfather.

Wil has been practicing and is more than ready to take over. He can fling newspapers as he rides his bike pas
Megan Mann
Sep 13, 2011 Megan Mann added it
Shelves: eng-412
The day before Wil David turns twelve years old, he learns that the newspaper route he has been so excited to inherit will be ending its distribution to his hometown. Outraged, he tries to find every way possible to help keep the route alive. He e-mails the owner, gets signatures on a petition and still he doesn't feel that it's enough. It isn't until he sees the new game at the fair that things start to turn around for him. When the fair rolls in, it brings with it the Cover the Spot game ...more
Oct 19, 2011 Mary marked it as to-read
School Library Journal (October 1, 2009)
Gr 4-7-The David family has delivered the Cooper County Caller to residents of Steele, PA, for as long as anyone can remember. Wil's 12th birthday signals that he will take over for his older brother, and he's been practicing his tosses from his bike. When the circulation manager phones the day before his start date to inform him that the Caller has decided to discontinue home delivery, Wil is devastated. The more he thinks about it, the madder he gets: fo
Feb 13, 2011 Jeremiah rated it really liked it
Big Change
When is it to do something that is impossible to do? The book The Last Newspaper Boy in America by Sue Corbett shows the story of a young boy who has a dream to do something amazing. But someone wants to stop it. The boy will do anything to reach that dream. This is an excellent book that shows not to give up because of something bad happen.
Wil David is a very enthusiastic twelve year old who likes the newspaper and to deliver them around the city of Stele. He wants to beat his broth
Jan 20, 2011 Andy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
The publishers of The Cooper County Caller decide to stop home delivery to the small town of Steele, PA. Delivering newspapers is a job that has run in the David family for decades, so 12-year-old Will David is shocked and angered by this news. He had been looking forward to taking over the paper route from his older brother Sonny, and his stubbornness leads him to fight the decision. Corbett’s chapter titles cleverly read like newspaper headlines. Her seemingly simple plot, however, suffers ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile: 830/ Ages: 8-11

Pages: 176

I thought this was a very cleverly written book. It is all about the David Family who live in Steele, Pennsylvania. The David Family has always delivered the newspaper to the people in the community on bike for five generations. Wil, the youngest of the David family (12 years old), finally gets to start. However, the day before he turns 12 he finds out that the company is not going to continue to drop off papers in Steele. They will no longer get their pa
Jan 16, 2010 Sandy rated it really liked it
When I read the summary on the inside flap of this book, I got a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling. Thankfully, this vibe was dead on for the tone of this book.

The premise is fairly basic: Boy looks forward to becoming his town's newspaper delivery boy, but the paper cancels delivery to his town just before he takes over the route. Boy - who is naturally smart and feisty - decides to fight back, slowly realizing that more is at stake than the money he would make delivering papers. Insert side plots
Al Cormier
Apr 08, 2011 Al Cormier rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at the library, and thought it was good enough to record for The Virginia Voice. The characters, though fictional, lived very real lives fraught with the very real situations brought on by the loss of employment opportunities as corporations move operations out of the country to maximize profits.

And Wil David seems to be caught right in the middle of it all. Just as he becomes eligible to take over the paper route that his family has had for three generations, the owners o
Aug 02, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I thought this was a very cleverly written book. It is all about the David Family who live in Steele, Pennsylvania. The David Family has always delivered the newspaper to the people in the community on bike for five generations. Wil, the youngest of the David family (12 years old), finally gets to start. However, the day before he turns 12 he finds out that The company is not going to continue to drop off papers in Steele. They will no longer get their paper in the morning. This really ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I almost put this one down after the first few chapters, but I'm glad I kept going. The characters were really quirky and peculiar, which put me off at first, but eventually grew on me. Wil is about to turn twelve and inherit the family paper route from his brother when the paper's owners decide to stop delivering to his small town because it's not profitable. Wil realizes that sometimes you have to stick up for yourself, and, through his determined efforts, convinces the townspeople to do the ...more
Abby Johnson
Nov 02, 2009 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Wil David has been waiting for this his whole life - it's finally his twelfth birthday and time for him to take over the family paper route. David boys have been delivering the local paper in the small town of Steele, PA for generations. So when Wil gets the news that the paper will cease home delivery to Steele next month, he's understandably upset. Wil is determined to get the newspaper to reinstate delivery and possibly save a town that's been slowly dying ever since the local hairpin factory ...more
Feb 14, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Wil David is a quirky, admirable character with a mission. Being home schooled and having a supportive family helps Wil David to take initiative. For Wil David, turning twelve means inheriting the paper route in the small town of Steele, PA. Wil David has been looking forward to this job for a long time - his throwing arm is good and he's planning to save up for a computer. When Wil David finds out that this paper route was going to be terminated after a month, he hatches a plan. The county fair ...more
Katie Bruce
Oct 25, 2010 Katie Bruce rated it really liked it
A "feel good" read with a nice, happy ending and fun characters. This was my book club's pick for "contemporary realistic fiction" month (Oh, the looks I got when I told them what our genre was). Has an old-fashioned kind of tone to the story, with a modern problem--what is the advent of the digital age (and capitalism) doing to the newspaper industry? Perhaps more importantly, is it a right for everyone to get the newspaper? Are newspapers performing a civic duty or should they only deliver to ...more
This was a fun, well written book with well written characters. Takes place in a small town that is going to lose it's only newspaper that happens to be delivered by a boy who comes from a long line of delivery boys. The story is about his fight to keep the paper coming, among other things. They call him Will of Steele (the name of the town, but also a description of his determination). After getting to know the characters throughout the book, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at ...more
May 04, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Wil is turning 12 and when he does he will be the paperboy of Steele, PA as were his brothers, his father and his grandfather before him. But the day before he is to take over the route The Cooper County Caller announces its decision to suspend home delivery to Steele.

In addition to this threat Wil also works to uncover cheaters at the county fair carnival rides and put up with pesky Ann-Douglas who is always haniging around the family vyng for his mother's attention. But they don't call im Wil
Apr 09, 2011 Janice rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
Labeled as ya but fourth or fifth could read. Story of dying town after big industry closed down. Told from the point of view of 12-year-old Wil, who has just inherited the local paper route. The company decides delivery to this small town is just not worth it. The town needs it to get news because, since the factory shut down, most people can't afford cable or internet and rely on the paper for news and help wanteds. Wil decides to do something about it.

Liked the quirky family. Loved that the
Gwen the Librarian
Nov 20, 2009 Gwen the Librarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit
This is a fully entertaining and satisfying middle grade novel about a boy with a long line of paper boys in his family. When it's finally his birthday and he turns 12, old enough to have the paper route, the paper announces that it's cancelling delivery to his town! An ingenius and persistant kid, Wil decides that he'll find a way to save the paper. With sideline stories about a crooked carnival midway, an annoying neighbor girl, and a bid to bring business to the town, this is the kind of ...more
Victoria Whipple
Dec 10, 2009 Victoria Whipple rated it really liked it
A timely book with all the talk of the decline of the newspaper. One family in a small town has carried on the proud tradition of delivering newspapers to the town's citizens. When it is about to passed down to the youngest son, the paper is bought by a larger publisher who announces the paper will no longer be delivered to the town. The newspaper carrier initially doesn't want his source of income cut off--he has big plans for that money! Then he starts to realize he is not the only one who ...more
The Bookloft
Feb 04, 2016 The Bookloft rated it it was amazing
This is a story about Steele, a small town community triumphing over the forces accumulating to destroy it. Led by Will David (Will of Steele), the latest in the long line of Steele Paperboys, the town comes together to save local newspaper home delivery, local industry & community integrity. Along the way we get to know engaging characters, laugh with him at his older brothers spoonerisms, learn the history of the paperclip & the hairpin, and appreciate the love and respect that can ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read about America today. It touched on a lot of contemporary issues, without being too preachy. The story is about a small town, where the factory has closed and most everyone is out of work. The town is threatened with one last loss, that of their paper--soon they will not even be able to get the local (though several towns over) paper delivered. One young boy, who was supposed to be the next paper deliverer, takes it upon himself to do something about this. The whole ...more
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Sue Corbett is the author of 12 Again, Winner of the California Young Reader Medal, and Free Baseball, a finalist for 10 state readers' choice awards. Her latest novel is The Last Newspaper Boy in America and her first picture book, The 12 Days of Christmas in Virginia, have just been released this fall. "
More about Sue Corbett...

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