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Paul, Big, and Small

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A trio of high school outcasts--Paul, Big, and Small--face the complicated world of predators and prey in high school and come to realize that overcoming life's challenges will take more than perseverance.

Paul Adams is the shortest kid at his high school, and the school bullies relentlessly pick on him. He spends the entire day wishing school would end so he can escape to
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Shadow Mountain
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  140 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Kelly Brigid ♡
This was such a sweet, wholesome story! I really loved reading about all the characters and the obstacles they strive to overcome. Full review to come!

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Miah D
Aug 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
I got an ARC of Paul, Big and Small for free at a conference, and finally read it.

Everything free isn't good. This is one of those things.

The basic story is that 15-year-old, short (self described) high school student, Paul, begins the school year as an underdog. He has low self esteem because of his height and is bullied by, well, almost everyone. Paul is also a talented rope climber, where his size is a feature, not a bug. Paul, who is white, gets paired up for a class project with Lily, who
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: khs-books
If the first half had been as gripping as the second I would have upped the star count considerably. This really did take a while to get underway. The incredibly likeable characters notwithstanding this needed a stronger hand with a red pen. We meet the really short Paul, the really large and aptly named Big and Small, who is not small, she is long and thin but her family name is Small. These three become friends and allies, fighting against the bullies and becoming involved in rock climbing. Th ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, ya-contemporary, 2019
PAUL, BIG, AND SMALL is a heartfelt, genuine story about a boy who has been teased and bullied his whole life because of how small he is. It's about finding surprising friendship and connection, and learning that not everyone is who we perceive them to be. Highly recommended!

I can't tell you guys how much I loved this story! I loved the frankness, matter-of-fact way that Paul's voice resonates as I read this. He's a boy who is skinny and short and has learned to try to disappear to prevent being
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s not very often that I read a young adult book that affects me the way this one did. I loved the characters, the setting, and the way the author wrote some very hard things in this one.

The main character in this one is Paul. Paul is short. He doesn’t see himself as much. He probably actually sees himself the way the other kids at school see him, as a punching bag, basically. But Paul is able to grow in this book. In fact, he grows so much that by the end he’s just amazing.

While Paul is the c
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This book was sent to my dad after I interviewed at the publishing company and told them that he is a high school principal and often gives his teachers books. The author was himself a high school teacher and you can tell he knows teenagers and a lot of what they go through. I loved this book so much! When I was picking which characters I loved the most, I listed almost every single one (but especially Big). This is a story of friendship, loss, bullying, acceptance, mental health, illness, and s ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a touching story, and I found myself hooked every moment of the way. Paul's character development was realistic and beautiful. Watching him grow stronger and face the things he was afraid of made me applaud him. However, I disliked the parts of Paul "feeling another panic attack coming on". While this would have been okay once, I wanted to read about the experience- show not tell. What does having a panic attack feel like? I also felt like Lily was more or less forgotten about thro ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my goodness, this book was so good! It was deep, meaningful, and inspirational. I had my doubts when I first started reading, but I soon realized that there is so much more to the book than meets the eye. If you haven't read it, you most definitely should!!!
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Paul is starting high school and is barely 5 foot tall. He spends his time trying to hide in the shadows to avoid bullies. An unlikely pairing for a group project with Lily Small and a boy nicknamed “Big” in Language Arts completely changes Paul’s life along with his rock climbing hobby. I loved this novel and the antibullying message and acceptance of individuals no matter what their outward appearance shows. A Restart type of novel for 6th grade on up.
Mrs. Ball
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my new favorite book. It has some sad parts but still leaves you with a wonderful feeling. The two main topics that run through the book are bullying and rock-climbing. If you liked Wonder, One of Us is Lying, Tangerine and Holes then you will like this book. DEFINITELY a must read!
Jessica S
Oct 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, dnf
DNF’d. This was a mess in regards to race/ethnicity. I think it could’ve been a book I enjoyed, plot-wise, but I hit my limit after a few chapters. More later or on instagram.
KarenJo Custodio
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded to 5

A breathtaking and engaging from start to finish, Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb is a beautifully touching story about acceptance, compassion, friendship, and hope. It's heartfelt, relatable, and gripping and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, and felt so many wonderful emotions.

High school is not easy… even more when you’re a little different and unique. But, having friends who understand just what you’re feeling and going t
✌︎ lua ☺︎
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it

C O N T E N T  W A R N I N G :  S U I C I D E

Navigating through the public high school system is harrowing when the institution you rely on cares more about law suits rather than caring for you. It's understandable for Paul Adams to devised coping mechanisms to avoid harassment. Unfortunately, Paul is quite frankly an appalling character. He's dislikable to the nth degree. It's difficult at times to root for his well being when he is a bully himself and constantly criticizes others to boost
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, ya-books
Paul, Big, and Small is a book I want to put into the hands of every kid between the ages of 10-20...and everyone else that can read. This book is full of so many emotional moments and unique characters. Anyone that has ever been a teenager will be able to relate to one of the main characters found in this novel. Author David Glenn Robb doesn't hold back on showing the turbulent happenings inside of a high school involving bullying, acceptance, and social awkwardness. Other topics in this book t ...more
Happily, Hedy
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a refreshing read. There are so many books in the YA genre, but none as needed as this one. I highly, highly recommend it to all teens out there. Take a moment to just absorb the story after you read it. This story is truly, as Big would say, “beautiful.”

The characters were brilliantly developed. The plot was nicely put together and everything flowed really well. All of the various themes brought up were tied together deftly with the element of rock climbing. The writing was both r
Kathryn Veil
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Glen Robb weaves a heartfelt, real-life look at bullying in high school. The characters in this book are people you can relate too, no matter who you are I'm sure you can find something in common with the people introduced in this book.
Paul Adams is the main character and the voice of the story. He is 15, 4' 10", and weighs 90 lbs.
Lily Small is a classmate of Pauls, but he remembers meeting her when they were 7, right before she punched him in the nose. She is very tall, black, and adopted
Benjamin Woodfield
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Paul, Big, and Small” is an amazing book about a young high schooler named Paul. Paul was afraid of his new high school because he was very short. Outside of high school, he was an amazing rock wall climber. The book is mostly about how Paul used to be afraid, but with his friends, he believed he could achieve anything.
I really enjoyed the way Paul’s personality evolved throughout the book. At the start of the book, he seemed to be very shy and not confident in his abilities. However, througho
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is incredible. I’m not the target audience but I really enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone middle school age and up. I especially hope all teens read it. Paul, Big, and Small tackles heavy topics like bullying, mental and physical illness, and suicide but it isn’t depressing. The characters are very likeable and a lot of the interactions are funny. I talked with someone who had recently lived in the area the book takes place in and he said it was very realistic and he knows p ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, realistic, age-ya, arcs
Paul has always been made fun of for being short, but since he discovered rock climbing he's gained a little confidence. Still, when six-foot tall Lily Small shows up at the climbing gym, Paul is a little intimidated - and a little in love. Then a new student, a big smiling dude from Hawaii nicknamed "Big" arrives at school, and suddenly Paul, Big, and Small are friends. Big has a different way of dealing with bullies like Colin and Hunter, and so does Lily. Can Paul learn how to deal with his b ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once I dove into this story it was really hard to put it down and focus on other things. It's very insightful and thought-provoking. It broke my heart how Paul felt he had to be invisible, and being noticed made everything worse. I loved how the author brought in the aspect of putting people in boxes and judging them before knowing them at all. I think we all tend to do this to some extent and really, we should all be like Big and look for the beauty around us. I'm intensely curious as to Big's ...more
Brady Green
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not an avid “for fun” reader, so it takes something special for me to pick up a fictional story. I am also not the likely target audience for this book. All of that being said, this book was ABSOLUTELY fantastic.

There is a great storyline and the author, David Glen Robb, did a fantastic job of creating a flowing narrative that is filled with relatable characters. Paul, Big, and Small are three of many characters that you are introduced to in this book. Besides being a very entertaining read
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Paul, Big, and Small, and encouraged my kids to read it. Not only is it well-written, but the messages are important for all ages. The bullying aspect was hard to read, but it's so important to know that everyone is fighting their own battles. We don't know what most people are going through and kindness goes a long way.

My favorite character was Big. I loved his cheerful, friendly attitude, and aspire to be more like him. He truly was the sunshine to those around him.

I liked the
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the best books I've read in a really long time. It had well-developed characters, settings, and plot. There wasn't a time that I wasn't engaged in the book. I really liked the characters, especially because they were high schoolers and the things they did, the thoughts that they thought were what a high schooler would think. Sometimes you read a book and you can tell that the author is out of touch with those of the younger generation, I've never really felt that with this ...more
Nicole M. Hewitt
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is about an unlikely trio of friends who face down bullies and their own fears. It’s told from the perspective of Paul, a freshman in high school who’s so short he’s often mistaken for a 10-year-old. When he’s put in a group project with Lily Small (the tallest girl in his class) and Big (a kid who’s as cheerful as he is large), Paul just knows it’s going to be a social disaster. He doesn’t want to do anythin
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not at a young adult but loved this book, I had a hard time putting it down. A story of three high school students Paul, Big and Small. Paul is abnormally short and a subject of persistent of bullying. Big a large Hawaiian boy which a contagious smile and positive attitude. Small a very tall African American girl. I Loved the character development. I felt as if I got to know each character, and particularly fell in love with Big. A story of an unexpected friendship, the trials and tribulatio ...more
Sonya Moyle
Thank you to the publisher and the author for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What a lovely coming of age story.

Paul is a bit on the short side; he doesn't seem to have many friends, and finds that his passion is hanging out at the local rock climbing facility.

Big, is just that...big. He's a big teenager, with a big heart. He takes Paul under his wing and Paul starts to find the good in people.

Lily Small, is anything but. She's a tall girl and a white family (s
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-2019
This one was okay. Paul is very short, and has gone through the world in a certain way because of it. Try to be invisible, and you'll minimize the bullying. Soon, though, he makes friends that make it impossible for him to stay invisible. It's awkward that Robb makes the one black person in his story also one of the people that Paul is most afraid of. I also thought that Big, as Hawaiian and also zen, was a little stereotypical. This book also spelled fundraiser with a hyphen in the middle, whic ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-copyright
Actually, a 3.5 star rating. Although I agree with reviewers who mention that the book tried to cover too many important topics (mental health, bullying, climbing, racism, identity, friendship, etc.), I feel it's important to point out that it didn't FEEL like too much while I was reading it. Paul's character did self-deprecate a lot about his height, but I don't think that's unrealistic for some high school students, boys especially. I really loved Big's character, and I could feel the dialogue ...more
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David Glen Robb lives in the Rocky Mountain West with his wife, two sons, and two dogs and is an avid rock climber who also coaches youth rock climbing teams. He taught high school English, art, and creative writing for eleven years before deciding to pursue writing full time.

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