Book View: Dead End in Norvelt

Book View: Dead End in NorveltDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (BYR) on September 13th 2011
Pages: 341

Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction!

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Short & Sweet: I should probably do a full review of this book, but I don't want to ruin anything. This book is hilarious and like nothing I have EVER experienced or read. I can't get over Jack's neighbor, an amazing character who writes obituaries but can barely use her hands thanks to arthritis, yet still manages to cauterize his nasal passages. Let's just say this book is one that everyone should read. A historical fiction that makes you feel like you were actually there in Jack's shoes, experience every weird mysterious aspect of the town he lived in.
Final Verdict: Read this book! What are you waiting for? You want something that is unlike anything you've read.. read it. 🙂
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One response to “Book View: Dead End in Norvelt

  1. Christina (BookTasty)

    I completely loved this one too! I cracked up so many times! I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Gantos himself and loved it! All the quirky small town characters mixed in with the mystery and the unbelievable was amazing!

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