Fourth through seventh graders will get a big kick out of the zany characters and quirky happenings in this year’s Newbery Awarding winner, "Dead End in Norvelt."
The protagonist of this story, Jack, is growing up in Norvelt, Pennsylvania in the early 1960’s. It’s the summer that Marilyn Monroe died, and Jack is grounded for cutting down his mother’s cornfield and shooting off a Japanese war rifle owned by his father. He is only allowed out of the house to help Miss Volker, who is signing the death certificates and writing the obituaries of the town’s original residents who seem to be dying at an alarming rate.
"Dead End in Norvelt" is part comedy, part mystery. It includes interesting history lessons about the actual town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, named for Eleanor Roosevelt who supported its inception during the Great Depression.
Some kids may balk at its length, 341 pages, and prefer Gantos’s series-books, Joey Pigza, Rotten Ralph or Jack Henry. Currently, members of the Fifth Grade Book Clubs at Anderson and Gretchen Higgins Elementary Schools are reading and loving Jack Gantor’s Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a wild romp with a well-meaning but truly out-of-control boy with ADHD.
In January, 2012 the American Library Association announced Jack Gantos as the winner of the prestigious Newbery Award for “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. Jack Gantos will be speaking at the Vacaville Cultural Center at 6:30 p.m., on May 23, 2012. SAVE THE DATE.