Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Friendship, Coming of Age, Race Relations
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Ages: 6th-9th grades
This book has been getting starred reviews from many sources this year. I was lucky enough to review it for the publisher and write a "booktalk" that is posted on the publisher's website (for educators and librarians around the country to use).
Here is a copy of my booktalk:
Memphis, Tennesse, summer 1959. A soon-to-be seventh grade boy agrees to take over his friend Rat’s paper route for a month. And what an adventure our unnamed hero has. First, you must know that he doesn’t have very many friends because he stutters and most of the kids make fun of him. Second, he is an amazing pitcher to Rat’s catcher and the two boys have become great friends. When Rat leaves for July to visit his grandparents, his friend agrees to become the substitute paperboy, even though he is terrified to talk to the customers because of his stutter. There are quite a collection of customers in the neighborhood to be frightened of including a drunk housewife and a merchant marine. But it’s the neighborhood junk man who our hero should really be frightened of, especially after a run-in with this man puts the paperboy and others in danger. Will the paperboy learn to overcome his stutter and make friends? Will he survive his run-in with danger? No matter what, it will definitely be a summer he won’t soon forget.