Newbery Honor Author Vince Vawter

Is it possible that the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference was a week ago? Wow!  I have not stopped smiling since we called Kate, Holly, Kevin, Amy, and Vince to share good—no, greatnews .

I asked two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo (Flora and Ulysses) and Newbery Honor authors Holly Black (Doll Bones), Kevin Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller), Amy Timberlake (One Came Home), and Vince Vawter (Paperboy) the same three questions.

Today's special guest is Vince Vawter. Congratulations, Vince! 

Paperboy by Vince Vawter | Delacorte | 2014 Newbery Honor 

Mr. Schu: Everyone loves hearing about THE CALL. What ran through your head when the phone rang? What were you thinking about when the Newbery committee was laughing and clapping?  What did you do after you hung up the phone?

Vince Vawter: My call came at 6:43 a.m. which could only mean that it was a snow day and my daughter was going to need help with the kids . . . and then I remembered it was ALA day and I froze. I remember thinking that I will never again chastise Academy Award winners who blabber on about not expecting the award because my mind was a total blank. I went and hugged my wife.

Mr. Schu: What does the Newbery mean to you? 

Vince Vawter: It always seems to ring hollow when I say this, but until Paperboy was published I never had the first thought about book signings, readings, media interviews and certainly not something like a Newbery Honor. I only wanted to make my story available to those young people and their parents who are fighting one of the most confusing and loneliest existences imaginable. 

Mr. Schu: Please finish this sentence starter:

Reading is essential to a complete life, or as Mr. Spiro would say “to the quartering of the soul."

Vince Vawter reads an excerpt from Paperboy

11 Questions with Vince Vawter 

"Paperboy is autobiographical in nature, especially the parts dealing with the main character’s speech impediment. Did I black out occasionally while trying to say my name? Did I give my friends nicknames because I couldn’t say their real names? Did I bang out words on a typewriter at night that I had stuttered on during the day? Yes. Yes. Yes. And more." - Vince Vawter

I am giving away one copy of Paperboy

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/3 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/4. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Borrow Paperboy from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. This sounds like an amazing book...don't know how I missed it! As a retired Speech Therapist, it's a subject rarely addressed in children's books yet sorely needed. I can't wait to read this!

  2. This is one of my absolute favorite books. I'm so glad it was recognized by the Newbury Committee.


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