Monday, June 25, 2012


A 2012 Newberry Winner

This is an odd but truly enjoyable story about a boy who is grounded for the entire summer during the 1960s in a dead end town named, Norvelt.  With nothing else to do, his mother lends him out to the next door neighbor with the arthritic hands.  Whenever someone in Norvelt dies, it's up to him to help write the obituaries/history trivia.  In exchange for the use of his hands, she teaches Jack how to drive and fixes his bloody nose problem (which seems to squirt blood every time he gets excited or stressed).

 The once model town seem to hosting a lot of funerals for their elderly residents over such a short period of time that it all becomes suspicious.  When a Hell’s Angel motorcycle member accidentally dies in Norvelt, a chain of events set off monumental changes for Jack, his parents and the entire town.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos seems like an autobiography but it’s not, even though the author lived in Norvelt and the main character is named after him. It’s a very unusual tale for that special reader who has read everything! For readers in 6th-8th.

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