The story takes place in 1959. "Little Man" Victor, an eleven-year-old boy who stutters, takes over his best friend Rat's paper route while Rat is visiting his grandparents. Little Man has various encounters with Rat’s customers. The paper route poses challenges and introduces Little Man to life's daily obstacles.
He has a run-in with the neighbourhood junkman, Ara T, a bully and thief who Little Man was warned to stay away from by his housekeeper, Mam. Ara puts the boy's life, as well as Mam's, in danger. Victor begins to wonder what it means to have a soul. He thinks about his talks with Mr. Spiro. He sees Mrs. Worthington walking hand in hand with her husband and hopes she's happy. He befriends a boy on the route who he has learned is deaf, and he is finally able to tell his mother that the food she thinks is his favorite is not. Though he has recently discovered that his dad is not his birth father, he embraces their loving relationship and strives to deepen it. He is even able to speak several full sentences in front of his class, finally verbalizing his own name for the first time. Victor tells Mam he's learned that what he says is more important than how he says it and that his soul doesn't stutter.