Book Review: Paperboy
Posted January 30, 2014on:
I just finished the excellent book Paperboy by Vince Vawter and couldn’t stop smiling.
Paperboy is the story of an 11-year-old boy who takes over his best friend’s paper route for a month during July in Memphis. Victor is happy to help his friend out, but secretly obsesses over having to communicate with customers when he collects the weekly fee.
Young Victor stutters and the author perfectly captures the feelings, fears and worries that come with being different. We are able to get right into Victor’s head as he practices speaking to some of his customers and as he fervently switches trouble words for words he can say without stuttering.
The author uses a unique style to depict dialogue throughout the story and conveys through words what Victor’s stuttered speech sounds and feels like.
This story will resonate with young people and adults who stutter, as it depicts a real life situation that all of us who stutter can relate to. Victor uses some speech therapy techniques to make his stuttering easier, and he also uses avoidance, which will be all too familiar to many of us who try to be covert!
Paperboy is the story of a kid who is a great baseball pitcher, a friend and a youngster who is learning how to communicate with adults, stand up for himself and learning about empathy.
We learn about his relationships with his parents, his Mam, his peers and the adults he encounters on his paper route. And we root for him as he finds himself in some tough situations and as he gradually becomes more self-aware.
This is a great book about stuttering, life and coming of age. It’s geared for young people, but adults (including parents of kids who of stutter) will love it too.
Put it on your reading list. You won’t be sorry!