The Paperboy

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Title: The Paperboy

Author(s): Dav Pilkey

Illustrator/Photographer: Dav Pilkey

Publisher and Year: Scholastic Inc., 1996

Number of pages: 29

Tags/Themes: Colleen Swanson, Award Book, Math, Social Science, Diversity, K-1, 2-3

Genre: Realistic Fiction 

Descriptive Annotation: This story follows the typical morning of a young paperboy. The boy gets up and goes to work when everyone else is still fast asleep. He travels around the neighborhood by bike as his dog follows behind him. Once he has finished delivering the daily newspapers he returns home as his family has begin to wake up. The paperboy however goes back to sleep and begins to dream.

Dav Pilkey along with writing this book also created the illustrations. Each page has a painting depicting either the dark night or the early hours of morning. The colors in each painting are vivid and contrasting demonstrating the contrast between the night and sunrise. For students, there really is no prior knowledge needed to follow this story.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: In this story some cultural diversity is evident as the paperboy is illustrated to be African American. However, I believe students of all races could easily relate to this story. The book follows the young boy most likely on a typical day working his first job. This text could also be used to generate a discussion with students on the topic of jobs and their first job in the future. The story is aimed at young readers, as the text is written in large font with one to two sentences on each page.

Interdisciplinary Connections: This story could directly be used in Social Studies to discuss the topic of jobs with younger children and the different types of jobs present in the world. The book can also be used in math lesson by reading this novel first to the class and then creating a lesson around determining how much a paperboy makes in a week, month, or year.

Other Information: Overall, I enjoyed this book however I see it being most useful for younger children. The text is rather simple so I see older children losing interest quickly. One activity I would employ after reading this book with students would be to connect the text to map making and construct a map of a paperboy’s morning route. This would enable children to practice map-making skills as well as relate the story more personally to them by putting themselves in the paperboy’s shoes.

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