Monday, September 7, 2015

Paperboy and Speak and Speechless

Sometimes I find myself reading books that feel as if they are connected. This was one of those cases.  I read these three books in the opposite order I have them listed below: Speechless, Speak, and Paperboy.

 I felt the need to group them together, because they all relate to young people finding their voice in some way or another, as well as powers of words and what words and expression can mean for us as humans.

Title: Paperboy

Author: Vince Vawter [Website][Facebook][Twitteraka Vilas Vincent Vawter III

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 9780385742443

Length: 223 pages + "Author's Note"

Obtained: ARC ... Maybe from staff lounge?

Why this book?:

I've been clearing out some of my ARCs both for shelf space reasons and to pass on.


Told from the writings of an 11yo boy in 1958 Memphis, this story offers the internal thoughts of someone who can't always express himself so well outwardly (due to a stutter), as he goes through some coming if age events while also learning to see and recognize prejudice and bias for what it is on a number of levels.

I heard good things about this book when it first came out and as far as I'm concerned it lived up to the praise.  I really enjoyed it.

According to the author while being a fiction book, much of it was more memoir.  That made what the boy (we do not learn his name until the very end) went through with his stuttering so much more of a learning experience.

One more note: at one point he recites a poem he wrote - it was lovely. I read it through a couple times.  Poetry can be rather hit and miss with me, this was a hit.

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Speak (Penguin Putnam)

ISBN: 014131088X

Length: 198 pages + "Laurie Halse Anderson speaks about speak..."

Obtained: Used copy from my BIL's cousins

Why this book?:

I was sorting through my books and couldn't resist after just having read Speechless.


After an event at a party - she really doesn't want to think about it - Melinda calls the cops and becomes an outcast.  She turns all her pain, hurt, rage internally; she is falling apart, and doesn't know how to handle it.  As she becomes more withdrawn she is mostly silent, causing attention but not understanding from the adults around her.

Title: Speechless

Author: Hannah Harrington [Website][Twitter][Facebook]

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

ISBN: 9780373210527

Length: 263 pages + "Questions for Discussion"

Obtained: ARC from staff lounge at work

Why this book?:

I requested the library purchase it when it first came out because it sounded interesting.  Then I got the ARC, but never got around to reading it.  I'm now cutting back to make room in my new home library.


Chelsea is a gossip, but at a party she sees something - and shares without thinking.  One of the parties involved is seriously hurt, so reports to the police, then takes a vow of silence to sort things out.  She goes through the school year as an outcast, but making surprising new friends while dealing with the consequences of her own actions.

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