I have read many great reviews of the middle grade novel The Paperboy by Vince Vawter. In this story, the eleven year old narrator takes on his friend’s paper route for the month of July 1959 in Memphis, TN. The story is one of friendship, family and racial disharmony. Most interesting for me though, as a speech therapist, is the fact that the narrator has a severe stutter. Throughout the book, the reader learns what it must feel like to struggle to articulate the simplest of words. We watch as the narrator tells people only the simplest of his thoughts and feelings in order to avoid saying words that are difficult. We read on, almost with our eyes half closed, as the narrator passes out while trying to say his own name. My only regret after reading this book is that I am no longer seeing clients. I want the chance to recommend this book to the people who need it most. And I want the chance to give clients as much time as they need to say everything they want to say.
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