Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Last Newspaper Boy in America by Sue Corbett

last newspaper I enjoyed this book so much!  Sue Corbett manages to tell a story about a quirky family that’s funny, but not so over the top as a lot of recent books.  In Wil’s family, your 12th birthday is momentous because that’s when you get to take over the paper route that’s been in the family for generations.  “…every paper ever flung onto a porch in Steele had flown from the hand of somebody named David.” Wil has been training for years, and is probably the best newspaper tosser the family has ever seen.  And for Wil the route is doubly important because he wants to use the money he earns to buy his own computer, so it’s quite a set-back when he finds out the night before his birthday that the publisher of The Cooper County Caller is going to stop home delivery of the paper in his hometown.  At the same time, the fair has come to town.  Over the past few years, Wil has figured out the gimmick to each of the games at the fair, and why the competitors never win big, but this year there’s a new game called Cover the Spot.  The prize is $1000 and the game involves throwing.  If Wil can win the game he’ll have enough money to buy his computer.  He spends the first couple of days observing, because you can only play once.  When he finally has an idea of how the fair is rigging the game, it takes the help of lots of people to expose the cheating in a public enough way to make sure that he wins the $1000.  Along the way he gets an idea to help the town attract a new business to take the place of the factory that’s closing caused such financial hardship for just about everyone in town.  There are plenty of entertaining side bits and characters. Review by Stacy Church

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