What It Is About: A young boy takes over a paper route for his best buddy Rat. Rat will be spending time with relatives. As the boy learns the ins and outs of having a paper route, he also comes in contact with several new neighbors. One of them is a women that may have some personal issues. One of them is an older gentleman who knows most everything. One of them is a young boy that seems to just sit in front of a television set. The boy also has to deal with a homeless man who isn't too kind to him or his nanny. This temporary job turns out not to be only a summer job, but also a life-changing month in his life.
What I Thought Of It: I listened to this story via audio during commute to and from work. The narrator was wonderful and created such an enjoyable listen. The story was thought-provoking and interesting. It gave the reader an insight to what it is like for a child to have a stutter. The cast of characters that the boy met along the way were unique and compelling. The relationship between the boy and the nanny was tender and so beautiful to read about. Everyone needs someone like her in their life.
Who Should Read It: The novel is geared toward the middle-grade reader and for the most part I would agree with this. There are a few themes that are quite mature like alcoholism and the paternity of a child. These are not major parts in the book, but they are present. I think if the reader were in fifth and/or sixth grade, they would be able to handle the book well. It would also make for a great read aloud.
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars