Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Paper Girls, Vol. 1
Written by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Publisher’s Summary:
In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Primary Source Pairing:
The morning after Halloween is always littered with strange people, and the veteran girls with paper routes came prepared. Except this night is even stranger and filled with even more bizarre encounters than usual. As someone who had a paper route as a child, this book resonated with me in a way that only one who knows the feeling of getting up before daybreak and rolling newsprint into tubes would understand. Children have been delivering newspapers for as long as newspapers have been printed. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an image of a boy and a girl selling newspapers in 1910. Let this image and the representation of the job of delivering newspapers in the book Paper Girls begin a discussion about how the dissemination of information has evolved.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • What, if any, words do you see?
  • What other details can you see?
  • If someone took a similar picture today, what would be different?
  • How has delivering the news changed since 1988, the setting of Paper Girls?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
“Newsgirl and boy selling around saloon entrances” photograph: Lewis Hine, Wikimedia