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Monday, June 03, 2013

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

PaperboyPaperboy is about an eleven year old boy growing up in segregated Memphis in 1959.  Oh yeah, and he has a stuttering problem where he has trouble even saying his own name.  It's much easier for him to write down what he wants to say instead of speaking it.  He takes over his friend Rat's paper route for the month of July.  The paper route will cause him some challenges as he will have to communicate with customers and he is of course introduced to a few interesting characters as a result of the route.  It is also a story about his relationship with Mam, his housekeeper/caregiver who has taken care of him since he was five.  He goes through some life changing experiences during those four weeks of the paper route, including a life threatening run-in with a neighborhood junk man.  All of those events, allow him to build self-confident and gives him a new viewpoint on lief

As soon as I began reading the book, I heard the narrator's southern drawl in my head.  It was a different read as the author never uses quotation marks or commas throughout the whole book.  You have to pay attention to follow the dialogue taking place.  Then there is the boy's stuttering you have to decode.  Dispute all of this, I did enjoy the book.  I loved the relationship the boy had with Mam and the one he was developing with Mr. Spiro.  The book also shows a glimps of what it was like to live as a white person in the south versus a black person during that time period.  His view of the world changes during those four short weeks and he starts to turn the corner from child to young adult.  I highly recommend this book for anyone grade 5 or up!

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