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The Last Newspaper Boy in America Hardcover – September 3, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—The David family has delivered the Cooper County Caller to residents of Steele, PA, for as long as anyone can remember. Wil's 12th birthday signals that he will take over for his older brother, and he's been practicing his tosses from his bike. When the circulation manager phones the day before his start date to inform him that the Caller has decided to discontinue home delivery, Wil is devastated. The more he thinks about it, the madder he gets: folks in his rural community rely on that paper for important news and employment opportunities. Many are jobless since the factory shut down, and TV reception is iffy with no cable service. Putting his stubborn streak to good use, Wil goes up against the big corporation that bought the paper. Chapter titles resembling newspaper headlines foreshadow what is to come. Like the author's Free Baseball (2006) and 12 Again (2002, both Dutton), this novel has a likable protagonist, engaging secondary characters, realistic dialogue, and a fast-moving plot that both seasoned and reluctant readers will enjoy. While Michael Winerip's "Adam Canfield" titles (Candlewick) focus on the inside workings of newspaper production, Corbett offers a timely look at how increased dependence on electronic news sources is impacting small newspapers and their audiences. Youngsters who have grown up surrounded by cable television and online news will have much to ponder after they have turned the final pages of this thought-provoking story.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA END

Review

-Corbett+s graceful dialogue, lovingly drawn characters and clever plot form a timely and refreshing tale.+ -Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525422056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525422051
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,790,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It has been a good long time since I've read a novel that I loved as much as I love this one. When you look at everything that makes a good book; things such as plot, character development, pacing, this book just delivers on everything. Will is a very likeable protagonist who does battle against carny crooks and big business to make sure that everyone remembers that just because you're small doesn't mean you don't count. His story is inspirational, his family is sometimes hilarious and the message here is an important one during our tough economic times. The characters are so endearing and believable that I just did not want this story to end. This is a great read for families. If you do family read alouds, this is a perfect choice.

This book takes me back to summers when I was a child when we didn't have cable, every kid wasn't scheduled into every activity, and if you wanted to go somewhere you rode your bike. I'm glad there are still places like that and that there are still families like the David family (at least I hope so). If you want to share a nostalgic slice of what small town midwestern life was like when you were young and still read a contemporary novel with great characters that will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings, share this book with every kid you know. It's an especially good choice for boys in 4th to 7th grade, younger if you read aloud.
A HUGE RECOMMEND for just about anybody.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm nearly 80, but I enjoyed reading this book directed at teens for nostalgic reasons. I also am passing it on to my grandchildren so they'll know about an important aspect of teen life that used to exist that played an important role in many of their ancestors' lives.
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Format: Paperback
On his twelfth birthday, Wil David is anxious to take over his new paper route. The route has been handed down through his family for generations, and he’s spent years training for this moment. What should be a moment of glory is ruined, however, when his paper announces that they plan to stop home delivery to Wil’s town! Will’s letter to the editor goes unanswered, at least until he starts spreading the bad news to his subscribers. Their reaction shows him just how much the town depends on their newspaper…and on him.

One thing I noticed is that at the beginning of this book, Wil didn’t really seem to know his neighbors. He knew their names, addresses, and how they liked to get their papers, but he didn’t really interact with them. As his campaign to keep home delivery went forward, though, his meetings with his neighbors became more frequent when he got to know them personally. I don’t want to ruin the awesome ending, but I will drop a hint about how Wil’s neighbors come to his aid. One lesson to take away from this book is that an organized group of people will always accomplish much more than just one person can.

“The Last Newspaper Boy in America” is actually more about community organizing than it is about a newspaper route. Still, I felt that it was an awesome book, and one with a good message. But that leads me to ask if you’ve ever felt that something happening to you was unfair? What was it, and what did you do about it? Do you think that writing a complaint letter could have made a difference?
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Format: Hardcover
Hurrah for a good wholesome story for young kids to read. The story is of a resourceful family in the small town of Steele. Riding their bikes as a means of transportation. sitting on the porch of an elderly neighbor, going to the Fair all portrays a wonderful life that has been long gone.

Resourceful Wil is determined to keep the town's newspaper delivery intact and to find out the mystery of why no one can win the Cover the Spot game at the Fair. Yes the story starts out slowly, but what a delightful message to all young people. Just think, Wil gives up his dream to own a laptop computer all to save the town's one and only factory building. Our children always assume that the computer is at their disposal and not to put themselves out for others.

Excellent message - suggested for larger church libraries too.
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Format: Hardcover
Wil David wants to turn twelve and inherit the newspaper route from his older brother Sonny. It's a rite of passage, after all, that's been passed down for generations. But before that happens, The Cooper County Caller cancels his route because the town of Steele, where Wil lives, isn't large enough. Wil (nicknamed Wil of Steele) fights to save his job and maybe, just maybe, he can save something more.

Sue Corbett has written a delightfully funny novel about a small town and family inhabited by believably quirky personalities. THE LAST NEWSPAPER BOY IN AMERICA also left me nostalgic for simpler days - when the carnival coming to town is big news-- and places, where everyone knows and is more accepting of everyone else.
-- Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
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Format: Hardcover
Apart from agreeing with every positive thing said, this book is near perfect when it comes to offering good examples and strong moral lessons for the reader. Wil's deep-seated love and loyalty for his family and hometown are admirable in a time when most real people two or three times his age only think of their own self-interest. Add to it that, when faced with an overwhelming problem, he responds with positive, productive actions -- speaking out thoughtfully and intelligently through a written letter, being willing to do hard work (both mental and physical), planning his strategy instead of just acting on impulse, giving sacrificially from his own resources... it goes on and on. And all these wonderful examples and lessons are threaded masterfully into the natural course of the story and the character. I'm reading through this book now with my son at bedtime and it's offering up some great discussion opportunities. (We're only halfway through, but I had to read ahead to find out how things come out... another mark of a great story!)
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