#192 Paperboy


I have eyed this novel for a while. Yap, totally because of its newbery honor title. Before I read the blurp, I think that the cover is quite interesting too, and of course the title.

Paperboy tells the story of Victor Vollmer, a boy who can’t talk without stuttering. His disability to talk normally like other boys, sometimes fail him. He become afraid of facing people because at first, people might see him no different from other boys but once he talk and stutter, most people look down on him.

One summer, Victor replace his bestfriend’s paper route. For the sake of paying Rat (actually his name is Art, Victor’s bestfriend) back for his fault. This experience, brings the Little Man (his nickname from his nanny, Mam) hurtful moment but also wonderful people who would not look down on him such as Mr. Spiro, Mrs. Worthington. And that exceptional summer, totally encourage him to embrace life with confidence even though stuttering problem will always shadowing his days.

I wanted to hear more from Mr. Spiro. His answers made me feel better no matter what my question was.

Why s-s-s-s-can most kids talk without any s-s-s-s-trouble and not s-s-s-s-me?

It was a simple question I had wanted to ask someone for as long as I could remember.  Someone who would tell the truth. I did ask Mam one time but she said it was just God's plan. That didn't make any sense to me because a god who would play dirty tricks on a kid like that didn't know very much about being a god.

Mr. Spiro changed his smile. He had different smiles from different part of a conversation.

I will play Socrates and ask you a question. Why can't everyone in the sixth grade throw a ball as hard and as straight as you can?

s-s-s-s-Because ...

I didn't have a good answer. I didn't have any answer. He kept looking at me ad waiting like I was going to have to come up with something before he would let me ask another question.

s-s-s-s-Because ... they're not me.

Exactly, Messenger. So it follows that you are not them. Correct?

I get why this novel won the Newbery Honor. The story of a stuttering boy who sometimes mistaken and called as retard by cruel people, this same boy has love words more than normal boy who talks normally. Mr. Spiro even called him stuttering poet. He’s talented and in more aspect he is smarter and more mature despite the age. Why should stuttering hold him back from getting a fulfilling life??

The way Mr. Spiro talked to me was exactly the way Mam talked even though the words they used were different. They both looked straight at me and made me feel like I belonged right where I was.

Lucky for the Little Man to have found people like Mam and Mr. Spiro. Despite the different race, Mam has always been there for him. She knew him very well. And Mr. Spiro? Oh boy! I envy the Little Man who has spent times with him and getting to know Mr. Spiro’s life that filled with crates of books!

I should say that Mr. Spiro is the most interesting character for me. He is the wise character that fiction novel often had. A very charming character with knowledge as wide as the sea that he has sailed while he himself seeding the knowledge into a rich life.

Paperboy is a heart-warming novel. The fact that this novel trying to spread the awareness of stuttering disability is a reason we should embrace.

Oh, and one more thing. I may not have mentioned it but there were also antagonist characters in Paperboy like Ara T. Not that he was not worthy to mention because he made the end part of the novel quit a thrill.

So, I presented Paperboy for you.

Totally recommended!

Title: Paperboy
Author: Vance Vawter
Release Date: December 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Yearling
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 240 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

2 thoughts on “#192 Paperboy

    • In some ways (like Mr. Spiro as a wistful man, the time set when race is really sensitive and victor the mature kid as the main character), Paperboy was more like To Kill a Mockingbird.


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