Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
1960’s, Pennsylvania, Hunting, Obituaries, Family, Growing Up
This year’s Newbery Winner mixes an undisclosed amount of fact and fiction into the tale of eleven-year-old Jack Gantos as he spends his summer typing up obituaries and being grounded. It’s a typical realistic historical fiction book, heavy on child-friendly humor and life lessons. The plot is nonexistent until nearly the end of the book when it turns out that the old women were actually being murdered and there is a rush to find the culprit. Jack is a charming narrator but overall this is a children’s book that does not translate well into a work for adults.