|Paperboy by Stan Crader|
Quite aptly named The Band of Boys, Tommy and his friends have developed their own clique. Throughout the story, The Band of Boys are thrust into a myriad of changes taking place in Colby. There is an influx of different people coming into town, settling in, and making tongues wag. The shoe factory that everyone has known and been dependent upon has disappeared, and in it's place is a hat factory. As if things weren't confusing enough, Melody has suddenly become front and center in Tommy's thoughts.
The book traverses throughout the sixties and addresses the fabric of social conscience. From the Vietnam War, the faux pas of teenage pregnancy, and racial tension, it is a realistic demonstration of the volatile atmosphere that gave birth to present day America. But even with so much happening, the author always keeps you within that small town of Missouri. Time is still relative in terms of human existence within the borders of Colby; Moon Pies, gossip, church, and the old codgers are still a normal occurance.
Paperboy is written in the third person, whereas The Bridge was written in a first person perspective. These stories are a testament of Stan Crader's love and attention to the period. The progression and fine-detailing awarded to each book is quite extraordinary.