Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos - ADVISABLE

Gantos, Jack Dead End in Norvelt,  341 pgs. D&M Publishers, Inc.,  2011. $15.99  Language – (4 Swears, 0”f”), Sexual Content – G; Violence – G. Jack Gantos’  plans for summer vacation are shot down when he is grounded for the whole summer. Locked in his room, he escapes by reading old history books his mother gave him.  He is volunteered by his mother to help an elderly neighbor, Ms. Volker.  He becomes her typist as she dictates obituaries of the original Norvelt residents.  Jack eventually looks forward to helping Ms. Volker each day, it gets him out of his room and he gets to see his best friend Bunny.  In the end, this book was really about a town and the stories it had to tell.  This book is actually very interesting, especially for the age it is intended for. It had a slow beginning.  I didn’t care for Jacks parents at first; they both were so dysfunctional.  I was half way through the book when it suddenly dawned on me that what I was reading really did happen.  The author did a good job in developing the relationships in the book especially the relationship between Jack and Ms. Volker. This book would be great read for elementary and middle school age children.  EL, MS – ADVISABLE.  Reviewer:  Elaine Miller

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