Monday, September 9, 2013

Paperboy by Tony Macauley

Oh, how I loved this book. I just wanted to get that right out of the way.
On the cover it says that Paperboy is an enchanting true story of a Belfast paperboy coming to terms with The Troubles. Absolutely take the word "enchanted" for FACT,  I couldn't put it down.
I have often wondered when I see & hear stories unfolding in worn torn do the people survive day to day? The poor children, how do they make it to old age? This book, is my answer. Tony Macauley gives us a kids eye view of life in Belfast, on Shankill Road in 1975. Bombs go off, people get beat up or killed day to day..sirens a constant noise in the ear.
"Belfast in the seventies was like the newspaper I delivered. Everything was black & white, albeit Orange & Green. Everything got smudged and ruined, like dark ink from the stories that dirtied my hands every day. I was a paperboy. Aged twelve. thin and easily crumpled. Blown around the streets by greater forces. More smart than tough. Yearning for peace, but living through Troubles. And yet I was happy with my calling. I was a good paperboy. I delivered."..Tony Macauley.
He loved the Bay City Rollers, he saved his money to buy the latest fashions to wear to the teen center that his parents ran, called the Westy. He hid from older kids who would be out at night ready to beat him up for his paper route money. He knew which days not to go to the grocery, because they usually got bombed on that day.. and he was in love with Sharon Burgess, who ended up breaking his heart:(  And all the while he delivered the Belfast Telegram, or the Belly Telly, with a dedication that I truly admire.
I love this kid..who now happens to be a grown man with a wife & kids . He is Managing Director of Macauley Associates, specializing in community development and conflict development ... what else would have become of the only pacifist paperboy in Northern Ireland?
Please do yourself a favor and read this book..I would lend you  mine but I just can't let go of it yet.
Oh and by the way, he was such a great paperboy that he got promoted to bread boy....
the name of the sequel!!

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