Reviews by Becky Quinten
“Paperboy” is a semi-autobiography of the author, Vince Vawter, set in segregated Memphis in 1959. Mam, the black housekeeper, and cast of characters propel Victor Vollmer III into pre-adulthood.
Little Man (Victor) substitutes for Rat’s newspaper route for the month of July. Along the way he encounters loss, faces his fear of stuttering, discovers his true heritage and combats violence with the assistance of Mam and his budding intellect.
The book introduces racial tensions, critical thinking and religious faith to the reader. It also contains some cussing and violence so parents are encouraged to read along with their child.
Paperboy an excellent book for children, as it highlights the universality of personal struggles at every phase of life and resolution by the individual. Reading the book aloud with an adult is recommended for younger children.
A great follow-up book for family reading is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
“Paperboy” By Vince Vawter
Age Range: 10 – 14
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2013); American Library Association Newbery Honor Book 2014
ISBN-10: 0385742444; ISBN-13: 978-0385742443
“The Giver” is the author’s reflections on memory loss. Twelve-year-old Jonas, his family and friends live in the perfect community where no one is ever hungry, jobless, different or has to make choices. The town is controlled by the Elders, who carefully orchestrate every element of the community members’ lives.
Jonas receives his lifetime job assignment as a Receiver and begins training with the Giver. A shocked Jonas soon becomes horrified by the perfect community and begins a new journey.
This book introduces euthanasia, personal liberty, sacrifice, courage and values.
Lowry wrote a three-novel series complimenting The Giver: “Gathering Blue,” “Messenger” and “Son.”
The Giver is available free to Amazon kindle unlimited subscribers. For more information about the book, visit Lowry’s website at www.loislowry.com.
Recommended follow-up book for family reading: “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and Kevin Hinkle.
“The Giver” By Lois Lowry
Age Range: 12 to adult.
Publisher Dell Laurel-Leaf (1993); American Library
Association John Newberry Medal 1994
Set in Clanton, Mississippi, three years after the sensational trial of Carl Lee Hailey, an employee of Seth Hubbard is instructed to meet him at a specific location; however, when the employee arrives, Hubbard is found hanging from a sycamore tree. Accompanying his body are instructions for a funeral and burial.
Jake Brigance, Hailey’s former attorney, receives a letter from Hubbard in his Monday morning mail. Inside the letter is new, handwritten will leaving 90 percent of his estate to his black housekeeper, Letitia (Lettie) Lang, and 5 percent to his brother, Ancil. Hubbard instructs Jake to fight to enforce the new will.
Hubbard’s estate is considerable and his greedy, inattentive children are counting the money before his body is laid to rest. They don’t know until after the funeral that they have been cut out of the will entirely, and it’s up to Jake to discover why Hubbard left his fortune to his housekeeper.
“Sycamore Row, a legal thriller” By John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday (2013)
ISBN-10: 0385537131; ISBN-13: 978-0385537131
All three books are available at the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday,Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Library cards are free to Christian County residents with proof of eligibility.