Dead End in Norvelt

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Dead End in Norvelt

by Jack Gantos

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) | September 13, 2011 | Hardcover

Dead End in Norvelt is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
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.
 
 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.6 × 5.95 × 1.82 in

Published: September 13, 2011

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374379939

ISBN - 13: 9780374379933

save 27%

  • In stock online

$14.06  ea

Online Price

$18.50 List Price

or, Used from $5.04

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quirky Coming of Age Story Reason for Reading: The book is this year's (2012) Newbery Medal winner and I always read each new winner as I'm working my way through the entire list. I had never read this author before. Having never read Jack Gantos before, honestly I've never looked past the titles of the others, I didn't know what to expect from this award winning novel. I was very pleasantly pleased. While set in Pennsylvania (in the existing town of Norvelt) the book is written with a typical Southern flare including a cast of eccentric characters. The book is suitable for those tween years (10-14) and made for a very engaging read. Since the boy in the book is named Jack Gantos and the author bio on the back cover tells us Jack actually grew up in a town called Norvelt we can probably surmise that this tale contains some biographical elements of the author's own childhood. A coming of age story, this book focuses on the summer a boy turns twelve, he has been grounded for a serious mishap for the entire summer. The motley cast of characters include his neighbour to whom his mother hires him out to help write the obituary's for the town's original settlers, Mrs. Volker is crippled with arthritis of the hands and has lived an exciting life which she shares with Jackie both through conversation and the obits. There is crazy old man Spizz, who is like the town's by-line enforcer and he rides around town on a giant adult tricycle. Jack's best friend, Bunny, a girl his age who is half his size and is meaner and tougher than almost any guy around is ticked off that Jack can't play at all this summer. With being grounded to his room, Jack spends a great deal of his time reading, having an old set of Landmark History books, he quickly reads through those and imparts what he's read and thought cool back to the reader. This really endeared him to me as I went through a period in my life in which I read all those books too. Another thing about Jack, which some readers may find odd, but also endeared me to him right away is that he has numerous nosebleeds. His seem to come on whenever he gets uptight, nervous or scared. Then his nose blows a gaskets and bleeds everywhere. Medically the capillaries are too close to the surface in his nose and need to be cauterized but his poor family has to save up, very slowly, for this. I too had constant nose bleeds as a child and right up into my mid-twenties, for the exact same reason! Mine were brought on by climate changes. Hot/sunny one day, chilly/damp the next and I was sure to have a nose bleed. They occurred where ever I was: on the bus, in the movies, walking down the street, etc. I was told about the operation but my bleeds just gradually stopped when I moved to a much higher altitude and they've never returned even though I've returned to the low altitude. This was my type of book, along with the quirky characters, add in a running theme of death, wry humour, a possible murder going on, strange events going on in his Dad's workshop, and you have an exciting, never dull story of a boy coming of age, of a town trying not to die, a family that loves one another and a place where neighbours still care for each other. A good read. I'm enticed to at least take look at Ganto's other books, now.
Date published: 2012-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quirky American Town filled with quirky American characters. VERY good, but really not "the best American children's book of the year" as the Newbery Medal would imply. Told in the authors own childhood voice, this is a solid entrance into this genre of children's book. Young Jack spends a summer learning about life while helping his paranoid war vetran father build a bomb shelter & runway and helping the town nurse write obituaries for all the elderly people in this Roosevelt commissioned town. I have read similar books that provide the same themes in more effective ways. Do read it - it is definitely a worthwhile read, but it is not the top of the genre.
Date published: 2012-02-12

– More About This Product –

Dead End in Norvelt

by Jack Gantos

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.6 × 5.95 × 1.82 in

Published: September 13, 2011

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374379939

ISBN - 13: 9780374379933

Read from the Book

1     School was finally out and I was standing on a picnic table in our backyard getting ready for a great summer vacation when my mother walked up to me and ruined it. I was holding a pair of camouflage Japanese WWII binoculars to my eyes and focusing across her newly planted vegetable garden, and her cornfield, and over ancient Miss Volker’s roof, and then up the Norvelt road, and past the brick bell tower on my school, and beyond the Community Center, and the tall silver whistle on top of the volunteer fire department to the most distant dark blue hill, which is where the screen for the Viking drive-in movie theater had recently been erected. Down by my feet I had laid out all the Japanese army souvenirs Dad had shipped home from the war. He had been in the navy, and after a Pacific island invasion in the Solomons he and some other sailor buddies had blindly crawled around at night and found a bunker of dead Japanese soldiers half buried in the sand. They stripped everything military off of them and dragged the loot back to their camp. Dad had an officer’s sword with what he said was real dried blood along the razor-sharp edge of the long blade. He had a Japanese flag, a sniper’s rifle with a full ammo clip, a dented canteen, a pair of dirty white gloves with a scorched hole shot right through the bloody palm of the left hand, and a color-tinted photo of an elegant Japanese woman in a kimono. Of course he also had the powerful binoculars I was
read more read less

From the Publisher

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.
 
 

About the Author

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, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key , a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control , a Newbery Honor book.   Jack was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Norvelt. When he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.   While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they publishe
read more read less

Editorial Reviews

“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 outri
read more read less
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart