About Paul, Big and Small
Paul Adams has always been short, but he’s an excellent rock climber. And his small size means he can hide from the bullies that prowl the halls of his high school.
Top on his list of “People to Avoid” are Conor, from his Language Arts class, Hunter, who hangs around the climbing gym, and Lily Small, who happens to be the tallest girl in school. But he might be able to be friends with a new kid from Hawaii who insists that everyone call him “Big.” He’s got a way of bringing everyone into his circle and finding the beauty in even the worst of situations.
When the three of them—Paul, Big, and Small—are assigned to the same group project, they form an unlikely friendship. And Paul realizes that maybe Lily isn’t so bad after all. He might even actually like her. And maybe even more than like her.
Paul and Lily team up for a rock-climbing competition, but when Lily is diagnosed with leukemia, Paul ends up with Conor on his team. And when Paul learns that Conor is dealing with bullies of his own—as well as some deep emotional pain—he realizes that the bullying in his school has got to stop.
Paul, Big, and Smallis about the turbulent, emotional lives of young adults who are struggling with life’s challenges openly and sometimes in secret.
It’s not very often that I read a young adult book that affects me the way this one did. I loved the characters, the setting, and the way the author wrote some very hard things in this one.
The main character in this one is Paul. Paul is short. He doesn’t see himself as much. He probably actually sees himself the way the other kids at school see him, as a punching bag, basically. But Paul is able to grow in this book. In fact, he grows so much that by the end he’s just amazing.
While Paul is the character that the reader is able to “know” there are a couple of other characters that really stood out. There’s Lily. I loved her. She has such a tough act, that I know is covering up hurts of her own that she’s hiding. I loved her crazy family and the way she taught Paul how to be a better version of himself.
And then there’s Big. Everyone needs someone like Big in their life! He’s the kind of person that always has something good to say. The kind of person who wants to bring someone cookies, or dinner, or just be kind. And the kind of person who knows everyone and wants to hug them. I loved the sunshine he brought to the story.
There were several parts in this one that made my heart hurt. And sadly, those parts are just things we see in the world we live in every day. But Paul, Big, and Small were able to get through those hard things and bloom in spite of them.
I loved everything about this book. It’s a book that everyone in high school should read. Probably every parent who has a kid in high school or even jr high should read it as well.
I was sent a copy of Paul, Big and Small as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
About the author
David Glen Robblives in the Rocky Mountain West with his wife, two sons, and two dogs and is an avid rock climber who also coaches youth rock climbing teams. He taught high school English, art, and creative writing for eleven years before deciding to pursue writing full time.
Follow the author on Instagram @davidglenrobb
What to read after Paul, Big and Small
This post contains affiliate links.