Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Earlier this week, I finished Sue Corbett's The Last Newspaper Boy in America. This is one that I am going to recommend to my 5th & 6th graders including my own son. I read somewhere that what truly makes a great book is not the plot, but the characters in the story. If the characters are endearing....if the characters really make you care about them...then you have a good story. The characters in this book were incredibly endearing to me. It takes place in a rural small town in Pennsylvania where hard times have hit. The local hairpin factory has been bought out and left empty for years leaving the townspeople unemployed and money hungry. The story focuses on the David family. The mother Magnolia, is a avid book reader-walker who writes book reviews and can always been found with a book in her hand. She is a woman after my own heart. Junior AKA dad is unemployed, but he still takes care of the hairpin factory in hopes of a potential buyer. He is a forever optimist who looks at his unemployment as a blessing, for he now has time to cook and bake which is his true passion. They have 3 boys: Trace, the eldest and the artist, Sonny, the middle child who is a charmer yet a bit naive and then the youngest Wil. The story focuses on Wil who turns 12 during this story and is about to take over the family newspaper route from Sonny. Bad news descends when they learn the newspaper is going to cancel delivery to their small town. Wil is devastated. He has been looking forward to carrying on the newspaper tradition as well as earning some extra money. This triggers the action of the story into fast moving adventure about a family learning about each other, the people of their town and themselves. I believe readers of all ages will find something to love about this story.