Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary
Henry wants to be a paperboy just about more than anything else in the world. Scooter tells him he’s too young to be a paper boy because he’s not eleven yet, but Henry thinks he can convince the paper route manager to let him be a paper boy, but on the way there, Henry gets distracted by a box of kittens at the rummage sale, which he takes. He tries to find homes for them, but cannot. He also strikes out at the paper route manager’s house.
Henry ends up keeping one of the kittens and naming it Nosy. Scooter lets him deliver his papers one day and Henry does a pretty good job, he also gets some advertising in for the school paper drive, which Henry wins because of his advertisements.
A new kid moves in the neighborhood and he’s kind of brainy. He’s working on building a robot. Henry likes to watch, but he’s also a bit jealous because the new boy, Byron, has a paper route and he doesn’t. At one point Byron decides he doesn’t want to be a paperboy anymore and Henry finally gets the chance he’s been waiting for.
What I liked
Henry is one determined little kid and I like that he likes animals. He’s kind-hearted enough not to want a box of kittens to go to the pound. There are boys who go around shooting cats for fun and sticking fire crackers up their butts. Henry is a good kid.
What I didn’t like
Byron is not very nice. He’s smart, but he’s not as nice as he should be to Henry and the neighborhood kids. He acts like he’s better than they are. Newsflash kid–nobody is really better than anybody else and everyone has merit in their own right, so the very idea that someone is “better than someone else” isn’t really a thing.
I’m glad Henry finally got what he wanted.
What was something you tried to accomplish as a child for a long time and it ended up happening?
Would you let your child have a paper route?