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Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt

Norvelt Series (Volume 1)

Jack Gantos

Square Fish

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Newbery Medal Winner

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 feisty 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 launched 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.

TN Intermed Volunt State Book Award ML, Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master List, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List, Kiddo Award Nominee, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A , Oklahoma Book Award Master List, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List, YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, Horn Book Fanfare, Maine Student Book Award Master List, Junior Library Guild Selection, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year, Kansas William Allen White Award, ALA Notable Children's Books, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, Newbery Medal Winner, Washington Post Best Books of the Year, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Year, St. Louis Battle of the Books Award, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction Winner, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

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Dead End in Norvelt

Learn more about Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Learn more about this and more books by Jack at JackGantos.com!

Praise for Dead End in Norvelt

“This is a brilliant book, full of history, mystery, and laughs. It reminded me of my small-town childhood, although my small town was never as delightfully weird as Norvelt.” —Dave Barry

“* A bit of autobiography works its way into all of Gantos's work, but he one-ups himself in this wildly entertaining meld of truth and fiction by naming the main character . . . Jackie Gantos.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A fast-paced and witty read.” —School Library Journal

“A more quietly (but still absurdly) funny and insightful account of a kid's growth, kin to Gantos's Jack stories, that will stealthily hook even resistant readers into the lure of history.” —BCCB

“This winning novel, both humorous and heartwarming, takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and spends most of his days grounded. Jack's main ‘get out of jail free card,' and one of the novel's most charming characters, is Miss Volker. The blossoming of their friendship coincides with the blooming of Jack's character.” —Shelf Awareness Pro

“* There's more than laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the power of reading.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“Gantos, as always, delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.” —Booklist

“* An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally nam… More…

“This is a brilliant book, full of history, mystery, and laughs. It reminded me of my small-town childhood, although my small town was never as delightfully weird as Norvelt.” —Dave Barry

“* A bit of autobiography works its way into all of Gantos's work, but he one-ups himself in this wildly entertaining meld of truth and fiction by naming the main character . . . Jackie Gantos.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A fast-paced and witty read.” —School Library Journal

“A more quietly (but still absurdly) funny and insightful account of a kid's growth, kin to Gantos's Jack stories, that will stealthily hook even resistant readers into the lure of history.” —BCCB

“This winning novel, both humorous and heartwarming, takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and spends most of his days grounded. Jack's main ‘get out of jail free card,' and one of the novel's most charming characters, is Miss Volker. The blossoming of their friendship coincides with the blooming of Jack's character.” —Shelf Awareness Pro

“* There's more than laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the power of reading.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“Gantos, as always, delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.” —Booklist

“* An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally named 'Jack Gantos.' The gore is all Jack's, which to his continuing embarrassment 'would spray out of my nose holes like dragon flames' whenever anything exciting or upsetting happens. And that would be on every other page, seemingly. . . . Characteristically provocative gothic comedy, with sublime undertones.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Nobody can tell a story like Jack Gantos can. And this is a story like no other. It's funny. It's thoughtful. It's history. It's weird. But you don't need me to attempt to describe it. Get in there and start reading Gantos.” —Jon Scieszka, founder of guysread.com and author of the Spaceheadz series

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In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of DEAD END IN NORVELT . An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally named "Jack Gantos." - Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors; the Joey Pigza series, which include a Newbery Honor book and a National Book Award Finalist; Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the Rotten Ralph series.

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Jack Gantos

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