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Paperboy

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  4,353 ratings  ·  834 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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17th out of 91 books — 383 voters
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Community Reviews

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Nan
I will preface my review with the fact that the author is my first cousin. As the story is semi-autobiographical, it was a real eye-opener to me to read of the struggles that he went through with his stuttering. He was just one of my cousins, who just happened to stutter. We treated him the same as all of our cousins. He was the oldest of the cousins, so he was basically the leader of our family pack. That being said, I loved the book. The story takes place during our childhood, which was in the ...more
Barb Middleton
Writing for me is like stuttering for Victor.Most of the timeI feel lonely and isolated and I'm trying every trick I can to spit out the right words. And I mean spit. The words splatter, sputter, and stutter in a nonsensical way all over the page. The random mishmash starts to take shape after multiple rewrites that usually leaves me frustrated, vulnerable, and exhausted when finished. Writing is difficult for me because it requires focus and my ADHD tendencies get in the way. Exercise is the be ...more
Colby Sharp
Wow! Excited that Vince is going to be on Nerdy Book Club in May. This book really opened my eyes to the life of a child that stutters.
Brandy
I was a little skeptical going into this book. It seems that the new "hit" genre in kid-lit is writing the main character with a disability. The first book I read from this trend is Wonder. Then I read Out of My Mind now Paperboy and Counting by 7's is on my to-read list. Some of these books have been great, all of them have gotten high praise and great reviews. I think one of my biggest complaints with these books (not just disability books) but any book that seems to jump on the bandwagon is t ...more
Melody
Saw this at the library. My dad was a paperboy when he was a kid, and I have fond memories of his stories about peddling papers, so I picked it up and cracked it open. The flap said that the paperboy of the title was a stutterer. My uncle stuttered like hell, all his life. My dad sometimes does, even now. 3 seconds in, I knew I couldn't not read this book.

Our hero (who can't really say his own name but he can say his nickname, Little Man) is not A Kid With A Stammer. He's a kid who plays baseba
...more
The Reading Countess
Beautifully written by a first-time author/retired newspaper man who stutters, Vince Vawter knows much about what he writes. You see, he grew up in the segregated South (Memphis, specifically). A lover of words, much like "Little Man", the main character (loved the photo of Vawter at the end of the book with his prized typewriter), the ebb and flow of the written word both confound as well as delight them both.

As a Language Arts teacher, I especially liked the literary and logophile references
...more
Beccie
Oh Newbery, I'll never understand you. I just checked and I have to go clear back to 1997 to find a Newbery winner or honor book that I really LOVED ( Belle Prater's Boy ) . I haven't read them all, by any means, but the ones I have read have been kind of blah. This one was good, but I didn't find anything outstanding about it. It felt like it was trying to be too many things. A book about a child with a disability. A book about sports (although that was hardly mentioned - just that the main ch ...more
Eric
This book was a chore to get through. I would have quit after a dozen pages of it hadn't of picked up an honor. Will someone please explaining to me the elements of the writing that they find distinguished. Very GCF.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I thought this was generally a well-told story. The sense of suspense, especially with the foreshadowing about the yellow-handled knife, made the book almost too difficult to listen to, since I had no control over the pacing of the book. Depending on how much of a sadist you are, I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a read aloud. I do wish that I had offered to my class as an option for historical fiction since it had a very good feel for the time with lots of details subtly in the background of the ...more
Chris Murray

Summary (Amazon.com)
This is a coming of age story that takes place in Memphis in the sixties. The book opens with the main character telling us about himself and his life as a stutterer. Speaking is, at best, a chore, and sometimes all but impossible. Because of his speech problems, few people can - or bother to - understand him. One such person is "Mam", the black maid who came to live with the family when he was five, and the other is his best friend "Rat".
But the big challenge comes during t
...more
Julie
Do you remember Darth Vadar – specifically the voice of Darth Vadar? Here is a link to a video some of his best quotes. The man behind the voice is James Earl Jones and what you may not know is that he barely spoke for eight years. His stuttering problem was so severe that he chose not to talk, rather than deal with the hardships of stuttering. The book Paperboy is set in Memphis in 1959, and 11 year old Victor, has a similar problem to James Earl Jones.
Once I started Paperboy, I couldn’t put it
...more
Becky
Paperboy had me at hello. I loved, loved, loved, loved, REALLY LOVED this one. Yes, I'm going to gush about how wonderful and just-right this one is.

Paperboy is set in Memphis, Tennessee, in July of 1959. The narrator is a young boy (11, I think?) who stutters. He doesn't want stuttering to define him. He doesn't think that's fair. He is good at many, many things, like baseball. He is GREAT at baseball. He is good at typing, at writing. He loves words. But his stutter keeps him from loving spea
...more
Anna Olswanger
Paperboy is the story of a boy with a debilitating stutter forced to find ways to communicate—against a backdrop of racial bigotry in the summer of 1959 in Memphis. When the 13-year-old stutterer, who can't say his own name, takes over his best friend's newspaper route for a month, he encounters a fleet of life-spinning characters: an alcoholic housewife who attempts to seduce him, a junkman who steals from him, and a kindly Merchant Marine who seems to have all the answers to the boy's unendin ...more
Lynne
The first person narrative of a young boy with a stuttering problem who takes over his best friend's paper route for a month is filled quirky characters, wonderful incites, and some adventure. The boy, who is unnamed until the end of the book, takes on the challenge of the paper route because he figures he can practice his pitching by throwing the papers. His fear is having to knock on doors to collect the weekly payments from strangers. However, it is through those strangers that we learn about ...more
Jaime
Oct 10, 2014 Jaime rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jaime by: Todd Fife
Shelves: audio-book
I absolutely loved this book. It has a To Kill A Mockingbird feel, without being a ripoff. It's genuine and beautiful. I guessed early on that it's based on the author's own childhood. When the paperboy was talking about his name and not being able to say it, it clued me in. I like knowing that it was his own heart that he was pouring out for the readers. I would have voted for this to get the Newberry and not just an Honor book. It's that good.
Stephanie Shouldis
I have read many great books this year, but this is the first book where I wished I could give it more than five stars. Vince Vawter says this book is "more memoir than fiction". I still have chills thinking about the challenges the main character was faced to overcome, all because of a stutter. The choice of words Vince Vawter used, within this story, gives me hope for the world around us.
Betsy
Do I love this book because I grew up in the same time period, because I was a speech pathologist, because I am familiar with the deadly hot summer days of Memphis, or because I admire the gentle souls of the characters who shaped the life of an 11 year old boy learning to be an adult? Hard to say, but Little Man tells his story flawlessly.
Nickkro22
The book "Paperboy" by Vince Vawter was a book that was pretty interesting at the beginning and end of the book. It slowed down a lot in the middle of the book, which is the main reason I gave it a 3/5. If it had the intensity of the beginning and end, I would have given it a 4 or 5. I read the first 100 pages very quickly, but then it took me about a week to finish the middle part. After the pace of the book sped up, I finished the book very quickly, because there was so much acton that left me ...more
David
Paperboy by Vince Vawter tells of an 11 year old boy who takes over his best friend's newspapr route in July, 1959, in Memphis, and how his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

While throwing papers is easy for a terrific pitcher, Victor worries about communicating with customers while collecting the weekly payment because of his terrible stuttering problem. Victor can't say a sentence or even his own name without stuttering. He really loves words, but just can't say them easily. Whi
...more
Shawn Humphrey
Some of the charm of Paperboy might be lost on kids today. Collections on a paper route, or even a paper route in general but hopefully the message isn't missed. Vince Vawter adds some real life experiences into his book about Victor, the fill in paperboy with a speech impediment and how he deals with it. Racism, bullying, domestic violence and alcoholism are a few things explored in Paperboy. But my favorite is the mentor who helps Victor see through his problems. A cooler than cool nanny adds ...more
Margaret Henderson
Although I enjoyed this novel, I do not think that it is written for children. Victor is a young boy with a stuttering problem. Throughout the novel he has to overcome a series obstacles and he does this by getting close to two older characters Mr. Spiro and Mrs. Worthington. I loved his relationship with Mr. Spiro. Mr. Spiro could get the boy to come out of his and he is one of the few people that the boy can actually have a conversation with. Mrs. Worthington is a strikingly beautiful woman th ...more
Alex Baugh
It is the summer of 1959 in Memphis, Tennessee and 11 year old Little Man, as his Mam, the housekeeper, calls him, has agreed to take over his best friend's paper route for a month while he visits his grandparent's farm. Taking over the paper route is going to be hard for Little Man because it means he has to speak to people, strangers, and what makes that hard is that he has a serious stutter. What makes it easy for him, however, is that he has a serious pitching arm for tossing papers onto por ...more
Jerry
Part personal memoir, part mystery, part young adult coming-of-age story, Paperboy is one of those rare novels that works on a variety of levels. On the surface it is a snapshot of one 11-year-old white boy's summer between his 6th and 7th grade years in school. The youth (the author as a child, but essentially unnamed in the book) lives in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1959. Segregation is still the norm, as are live-in housemaids with starched white uniforms and ...more
Aeicha
Vince Vawter's Paperboy is a very literary middle-grade contemporary story that turned out to be not what I quite expected, but in a really good way.

In 1959 Memphis, an 11 year old boy takes over his friend's paper route for a month. The main character, who remains nameless for most of the novel, has a debilitating stutter that keeps him from talking much. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of really profound thoughts. During his month as a paperboy, he encounters several grown-ups (a p
...more
Destinee Sutton
What's the name of the 11-year-old main character in Paperboy? The reader doesn't know because the main character can't really say it. He has a stutter and the letters of his name give him particular trouble. So he's referred to as "Little Man," "son," and "the messenger," but not by his name. In this review, I'll refer to him as the paperboy, even though he's not really the paperboy.

This story is set in 1959 in Memphis, Tennessee. The paperboy is temporarily covering paperboy duties for his fr
...more
Tamsyn
The writing in this book was wonderful. The main character, an 11 year old boy from Memphis in 1959, reminded me in some ways of Huckleberry Finn, with a similar combination of naiveté and wise commentary. Because of his stutter, normal human interaction is a daily challenge, so taking over his friend's paper route for a month is both a joy -- he's an excellent pitcher and loves throwing the papers -- and something to worry about when it's time for collection night. During those nights he meets ...more
Harun Harahap
Are adults good at communicating with young people?

Adults have a difficult time talking with children because young people don't understand the code.

Examples:
1. An adult says: I'll have to think about that.
The translation is: What you asked about is not going to happen so don't bring up the matter again.

2. That's not something we should talk about until you're older.
The translation is: I don't know how to answer you.
Christine
I'm a bit conflicted on this one. I really liked this story. I loved the main character (to find his name - read the book!), and the secondary characters were wonderful. So many interesting people and problems. I became involved in each and every one of their trials and successes.

So... what's not to like?

Most of the issues Little Man dealt with were pretty innocent, but there were a couple of scenes that were a little mature for what I perceive was the intended audience. I'm concerned about wh
...more
Lonna Pierce
Vince Vawter has written a memoir/historical fiction novel for mid-grade readers about a summer in Memphis, 1959, that changed the life of an 11-yr. old boy with a great fastball and desperate trouble speaking. His stuttering is so severe, he can't say his own name.When he subs as a paperboy for one month, he meets people that transform him, and he discovers a secret about himself that also changes everything. This is a powerful novel of prejudice, disability, and friendship. It has compelling d ...more
Read  Ribbet
Sometimes you read a book that seems almost flawless. Paperboy is a 2014 Newbery Honor and IRA Intermediate Fiction Award Winner written by longtime news paper reporter but first time children's author Vince Vawter. Structured beautifully with opening foreshadowing and a gradual building to climax, the book tells the story through shorter vignettes. Brilliantly capturing the central character eleven year old Little Man who takes over the paper route of a friend forcing him to interact with a num ...more
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Paperboy by Vince Vawter 4 23 Jan 13, 2014 07:52AM  
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6459115
Retired after 40 years in newspapers. Live on a small farm in Tennessee with my wife and two dogs. Debut novel, PAPERBOY, will be published May 2013 by Random House. Lived 65 years to discover that you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. Thank you, Mick Jagger.
More about Vince Vawter...
Wörter auf Papier

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“Words in the air blow away as soon as you say them, but words on paper last forever” 7 likes
“Why do people who can talk right waste so many words saying nothing?” 5 likes
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