Tuesday, February 18, 2014

‘The Last Newspaper Boy in America’

Book cover: The Last Newspaper Boy in America by Sue Corbett. The book's title is printed in a rolled newspaper thrown by the silhouette of a boy on a bicycle
David family males have delivered the newspaper in Steele, Penn. for as long as the town has existed, with each boy taking over the route when he turns 12 years old.

On the eve of his 12th birthday, Wil David receives unwelcome news: the Cooper County Caller will end newspaper delivery to Steele.

Author Sue Corbett brings the perspective of a former youth carrier to her story of a town trying to survive hard times. Interwoven with Wil’s crusade to save the newspaper route is an effort by Steele residents to attract new business to the town’s closed hairpin factory.

Combine this with shady dealings at the county fair and Corbett’s novel is an exciting one. The title of each chapter cleverly mimics the newspaper headline-writing style.

Corbett, a journalist, accurately portrays the changing media landscape. When Wil researches articles online, the results are limited by paywalls.

And librarians may appreciate the library’s acknowledged role in bridging the digital divide: Wil conducts online research and checks his email on library computers.

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