9780553397055. Digital Download from Overdrive.
Every now and then a book comes along that begs to be listened to. Something about having it read to you makes it even more powerful and touches you in a way that just reading on the words on the page possibly could. Paperboy is that book.
Little Man stutters, his stutter is bad. He has found ways to work around words he knows will trip him up, plans sentences in advance and feels comfortable speaking with only a handful of people. When his best friend Rat heads to his family farm for a month, Little Man takes over his paper route. Taking over the route is easy, it's the weekly collection that worries him, having to have a conversation with people he doesn't know and asking them for payment. However it is during these collections that he meets people that affect him in ways he couldn't have realized. Mr. Spiro makes the most powerful and positive impact on Little Man. From the moment they meet there is an instant bond between them and Little Man is drawn to his wisdom, the way in which he speaks and looks forward to their time together during the weekly collection. Mr. Spiro isn't the only powerful adult figure in Little Man's life. There is Mam, his caregiver with whom he can talk to about anything. Together the two of the experience several life changing moments and form an even deeper bond.
Lincoln Hoppe does a marvelous job as the character of Little Man. When he spoke you could feel the struggle of Little Man to get his words out and how painful speaking could be for him. His characterization of Mr. Spiro and Mam were also beautifully done. Having Vince Vawter read his Author's Note was a delightful treat. Hearing what his life has been like with a stutter made the story even more special.
Here is a picture I took one morning while I was out walking and listening. The summer sun and heat are still going strong.