Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

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Book of the Month - 2014 > February Read - Paperboy

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 562 comments Mod
Recently on January 27th Paperboy won a Newbery honor. Do you think it was a good choice? Is it distinguished?


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 387 comments It was a surprise choice but a good one I think. Very original.


message 3: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Tully (mtully) | 1 comments This book is a gem and definitely deserves the honor.


message 4: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 77 comments While Flora and Doll Bones were my top two contenders for the medal, Paperboy was on a shortlist of books-I-think-might-get-an-honor-even-though-they're-not-my-favorite. Paperboy, Counting By 7s, and Beholding Bee were at the top of that list. They all had strong messages about characters living with a very tangible difficulty (stutter, spectrum, birthmark) and coming to terms with it and other things in life. Unlike other books along that vein (Mockingbird and Out of of My Mind) I can't imagine they have much appeal to kids. I would not choose any of those three as a class read aloud, and I have not recommended them to any young readers (who I see every day at work).
In the end, I'm not surprised by the distinction, but would have liked to see it go to Center of Everything or maybe Water Castle instead.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan Holtz | 23 comments I really enjoyed Paperboy. I'm always on the lookout for "memoir-like" books to share with my sixth graders. I think this one will appeal to a variety of kids- and the social commentary that is imbedded is much needed and welcomed in the classroom.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 387 comments I am so thrilled that Doll Bones won an honor. It was a courageous decision. The parents have been keeping away from this title but the kids make a bee line right for it.


message 7: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (maestraarmstrong) | 2 comments Of all the Mock choices, Paperboy was my least favorite. Its narrative felt forced and inauthentic.


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim Bell (ohlibrarianio) | 27 comments Yes. Loved everything about Paperboy. I could go into detail, but this post would be waaaaay too long. I was so happy when it was announced as an honor book, except that being honored meant that it wasn't the winner.


message 9: by Czechgirl (last edited Feb 04, 2014 06:23PM) (new)

Czechgirl | 214 comments I enjoyed Paperboy. It was one of my 2014 favorites. I am currently reading Rump because I read Paperboy earlier in the year. Then I will be reading Year with Billy Miller.

These are the 2014 books I read: Hokey Pokey, Navigating Early, Doll Bones, Paperboy, Hold Fast, Tangle of Knots, Counting By 7's and Flora and Ulysses.

My favorite was Hokey Pokey, which seems like was no one's favorite, but I loved the creativity of the book. I have 2 sons. One in high school and remember him going through the "change" from kid to "teen". The another is in middle school and is about to reach the "teen" age, but is also in the "playing" kid mode. Maybe it meant so much to me since both of my sons are near the age of the boy.

I also really liked Paperboy and Counting by 7s, but found problems with the plot with both as the story moved towards the end.

When I started Navigating Early, I loved the setting Claire Vanderpool described, but did not like it once the "pirates" became involved in the story.

For me Doll Bones, Flora and Ulysses and Tangle of Knots were okay. My least favorite was Hold Fast.

I have read the first 3 chapters of Rump and love it so far, but the trick to a good book is to keep its momentum. I will be reading Year of Billy Miller after it--then One Came Home.

Now about Paperboy. It seems the book market has been bombarded with characters that have some sort of disability--ie, Wonder, Out of My Mind, Rules, Firegirl, Al Capone Does My Shirts, etc. What I liked about Paperboy is that the main character has this disability (stuttering) but it did not control the entire story. The boy grew as an individual as a result of the paperboy job opportunity and the other character he met that summer. What I didn't care for was the bar "killing" scene. I would have liked the author to write some other version to what happens to Ara T--the junkman. But I love the other characters, such as Mam, customers--Mr. Spiro and drunk, Ms. Worthington. I would have kept Ara T--good add to the story, but something other than the bar "killing" part. I also like the author's note at the end. This added more value to the story after it was read.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 50 comments Like many of you I didn't care for Paperboy, but it was quite worthy with that great ending. I found it too far removed from the realities of life for modern students. I handed it off to my sixth grade ELA teacher. It was hard for me to keep my opinion to myself, but thankfully he is a fast reader. I learned an important lesson, because he loved it! It is set in a period that really speaks to him, and he can't wait to share it with his sixth graders. As mentioned it has that memoir aspect which my teacher loves, and his passion about that setting will make it more meaningful in his classroom. It just reminded me that the teacher is the most powerful tool in the room because he will bring that book to life for his kids. It was worthy of the Honor.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim B. (weirdmoviefan) I really enjoyed this one, maybe just because of some of my own struggles with disabilities... the writing style was a little bit irksome at times (even though it was similar to one of my favorite books, the lack of any quotation marks/italics/etc. where dialogue was concerned kinda bugged me here), but I really liked some of the characters and their relationships. A nice little Honor book.


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 86 comments I also enjoyed Paperboy. I've yet to have any kids read it, but it is a thoughtful, quiet book, that takes us back in time, yet discusses a disability that rarely gets talked about. I know it will be a perfect read aloud for one of my teachers.


message 13: by Mary HD (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 96 comments I read this last summer (so don't remember it too clearly), but I did think it was a little odd, in that the main character sometimes acted too young for his age, and sometimes acted too maturely. It diminished the character's credibility, in my opinion.

So I was rather taken aback to find that this book was based on the author's own experiences! Oh, well, shows you what I know.


message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim Bell (ohlibrarianio) | 27 comments Mary wrote: "I read this last summer (so don't remember it too clearly), but I did think it was a little odd, in that the main character sometimes acted too young for his age, and sometimes acted too maturely. ..."

I think 11-year-olds are in that in-between where they do go back and forth - one minute acting childish, the next more like a teenager. From my personal experience, I remember my dad yelling at me when I was a 10-year-old to choose either to act like a child or grown-up, he didn't care as long as I was consistent because he couldn't stand the back-and-forth anymore. So perhaps the character isn't credible, but the author captured the behavior of that age perfectly.



message 15: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 562 comments Mod
I thought it was extremely well written. I loved how clear the pain of not being able to speak was expressed.


message 16: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessmonster) | 80 comments While it wasn't a personal favorite, I thought Paperboy was very well written, had a good, brisk pace, nuanced characters, and brought a historical period to life without feeling like a lesson.


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