June 14, 2013

Paperboy

by Vince Vawter
ages: 10+
First sentence: "I'm typing about the stabbing for a  good reason. I can't talk."
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!

I picked this up when it came into the store a few weeks back mostly because it had been a while since I'd read a good, non-fantasy middle grade book. And the idea of this one -- a boy with a severe stutter who takes over a paper route for a month in Memphis in the 1950s -- sounded like it could be good.

I'll be upfront on this one: I bailed. I admire Vawter for telling what was, for him at least, a very personal story about a disability that doesn't get enough page time. But, a lot of things bothered me about this one. The short paragraphs. The lack of quote marks. The slow pace of the story. And -- although it pains me to admit this one -- the way he wrote the stutter.

It just didn't gel with me. Maybe next time.

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