From Norvelt to Nowhere
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From Norvelt to Nowhere (Norvelt #2)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  452 ratings  ·  142 reviews
This town is haunted by more than just ghosts . . .

When Jack dresses up as a notorious local murderer for Halloween, he thinks he’s found the perfect costume to scare away evil spirits. But when the real murderer returns and another old lady dies, he starts to worry that he might not be showing the best judgment.

Together with Miss Volker, the last remaining original Norvel...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published September 5th 2013)
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Eh...for me, this book fell a little flat compared to the first one, which I loved. There were a few too many similes, and didn't make me laugh as much.

Favorite quotes:

Miss Volker had treated me like her best friend. I think she was sixty-five years older than me, but it sort of evened out because I was her youngest friend and she was my oldest friend. I made her feel younger and she made me feel older. I asked questions and she gave answers. I made her feel smart and she made me feel clueless....more
The Styling Librarian
From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos – 4th grade and up – Mystery/Historical Fiction - It was so fun to jump back into Jack Gantos’s Norvelt community! There are such wise, knowledgeable characters that Jack is surrounded by yet still he goes through incredibly crazy twists and turns. I love that this book is a murder mystery where there are surprising answers to questions and odd situations that pop up through the entire book. Terrific story. I did weary a little from Miss Volker during her h...more
The sequel to 2011’s Newbery-winning Dead End in Norvelt is just as laugh-out-loud wacky as the first. Jack teams up again with old Miss Volker, the last original old lady in Norvelt (now appearing to be approaching senility in fits and starts), and this time they’re on a road trip to catch a murderer whose MO is poisoning old ladies with Girl Scout Cookies. Just one teensy problem arises on the way: they’re not exactly certain who the murderer is, or what to do when they catch him (or her)…

I enjoyed the continuing adventures of Jack and Mrs. V as they travel to Florida for a funeral. Listening to Jack Gantos narrate the audiobook almost convinced me that the author was recounting a true family story.
Carol Royce Owen
From Norvelt to Nowhere is the sequel to the 2012 Newbury winner, Dead End in Norvelt. If you are expecting more interesting history tidbits again, you won't be disappointed. Once again Jack is teamed up with the elderly Miss Volker, who continues to suffer with severe arthritis in her hands, which means Jack has to do everything for her.

But this time, more is asked of Jack. Although he helps to write a few obituaries, he has a far greater task ahead of him - to keep Miss Volker from killing her...more
Warren-Newport Public Library
Jack Gantos is a riot. He reads all of his audiobooks which is particularly entertaining because they are somewhat biographical.

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a sequel to Dead End in Norvelt where Jack and Ms. Volker spend large amounts of time together. In From Norvelt to Nowhere, the pair are on a mission first to visit Eleanor Roosevelt's grave and then to solve a mystery. Jack's first person narrative is hilarious. He continually goes along with whatever the crazy old woman tells him to do incl...more
Ms. Yingling
This sequel to Dead End in Norvelt is just as quirky as the original: Jack and Miss Volker are at it again. When Spizz, who killed all the old ladies in town so he could marry Miss Volker, apparently kills Mrs. Custard (who has just moved to town) as well, Jack knows he has to act. However, Miss Volker's sister dies in Florida, so the two take off on the train to attend the funeral, the thought being that Miss Volker can't travel on her own. They end up getting involved in a variety of schemes,...more
Jack Gantos is a riot. He reads all of his audiobooks which is particularly entertaining because they are somewhat biographical.

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a sequel to Dead End in Norvelt where Jack and Ms. Volker spend large amounts of time together. In From Norvelt to Nowhere, the pair are on a mission first to visit Eleanor Roosevelt's grave and then to solve a mystery. Jack's first person narrative is hilarious. He continually goes along with whatever the crazy old woman tells him to do incl...more
While my entire family loved Dead End in Norvelt, this sequel fell a bit flat for us. It was still entertaining, but it seemed a little lost. The previous book was tightly plotted with lots of seemingly extraneous bits that all ended up being subtle clues that lead us to the mystery at the end. In the sequel, they are just extraneous bits. The resolution completely undermined the perfection of the resolution of the previous book. The literary and historical references all felt forced. Wackiness...more
3.5 stars. This follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel by Jack Gantos is even more fast-paced, quirky, and fun. It actually feels like Act II of the first story, and it solves some of the long-standing mysteries and questions, while the two main characters (12 year old kid and his elderly lady mentor) set off to chase a murderer. Yes, the premise and the situations they get into are a bit ridiculous, but for the most part the story is funny and works well (and is just the right amount of weird)....more
Jack Gantos. Quirky and hilarious. Thoughtful and poignant. Eleanor Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Intergenerational friendships. Need I say more?
Barb Middleton
Jack Gantos is a terrific storyteller, entertainer, and teacher. He came to our school captivating students from ages 5-18 years old adjusting his lessons and zany stories for each age. Some stories were doozers that left us with side stitches and tears of laughter such as dropping a cockroach into the sleeping mouth of his sister who got him back by locking him naked out of the house. Or skateboarding off a roof into a pool. Or maybe it was a toboggan. Or bike. After meeting Mr. Gantos it is ea...more
Adam Williams
The theme of From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos is about two very different people getting to know each other. This is the second book in a series. The setting of the book is a road trip from Norvelt, Pennsylvania to Florida in the 1960’s. Jack is driving his teacher, Ms. Volker, to a funeral in Florida. They take many vehicles including trains, cars, and airplanes. They spend a lot of time in a used Volkswagen Beetle. They stop at run down roadside motels and eat only the food that Ms. Volk...more
This sequel to Dead End in Norvelt is as wildly, wackily, weepily funny as the original. Jack and the irrepressible Miss Volker hit the road, chasing the fugitive Spizz, but first they must pay homage to their town's founder, and Miss Volker's idol, Eleanor Roosevelt, who has recently died (it is 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis has just been averted, bomb shelters are a feature of the landscape, and train travel is still a luxury). I don't want to give too much away, other than to mention that re...more
This was a fast paced sequel to Dead End in Norvelt which won a Newbery award. The story takes place during the Cuban missile crisis and other history lessons are included in the story. Someone is poisoning all the old ladies in town and young Jack Gantos becomes involved in solving the murder mystery. He escorts his slightly mental elderly mentor, Miss Volker, on her pursuit of the supposed killer. The story is silly, wacky and plain crazy at times. Maybe kids would find it hilarious, but I did...more
I would have given this only two stars but I do appreciate the history he works into the story, though this go around it felt very forced, that didn't make any less valuable information however, just less enjoyable to read to the kids.
Dead End In Norvelt was so great that I may be more disappointed with this book because I had expected so much more from it.
My kids still really enjoyed it, and again, because of all the history he works into it, it's hard to be too upset with it.

I just expected...more
Not a bad book--but this is a big letdown, after the all-around amazing Dead End in Norvelt, which, happily, managed to snag a very well-deserved Newbery for Jack Gantos. I definitely had the impression that this one was rushed into existence (and then rushed into print) before the gleam of said award began to dull. I sense that it was ushered onto the world stage, if you will, without adequate time for it to percolate through the myriad drafts, rewrites, and permutations a book--especially the...more
Sally Kruger
Crazy life continues in Norvelt, Pennsylvania. Jack is still helping Miss Volker write obituaries for the newspaper and taking care of things around her house, but things are about to get even crazier.

Another Norvelt old lady dies under suspicious circumstances renewing Miss Volker's belief that the murderous Spizz is still hanging around. Jack and the old lady are working together once again to find the killer and bring justice to Norvelt.

When Miss Volker learns of the sudden death of her siste...more
This is a true sequel to Dead end in Norvelt as opposed to a follow up, very little of this book will make sense on its own. As Halloween arrives in Norvelt the Cuban Missile Crisis is on, houses are disappearing, our fugitive old lady killer is still on the loose and even worse, one of the town's original old ladies has returned. When the town's founder and namesake Elanor Roosevelt dies it is up to Jack to make sure that his old friend Miss Volker makes it safely to Hyde Park and back. Miss Vo...more
I laughed my way through Dead End in Norvelt multiple times, so I had expectations of some humor. They were certainly satisfied. Once again, Jack Gantos manages to pull together bizarre and amazingly funny situations throughout the novel. I would recommend that people read Dead End in Norvelt first, but Gantos does provide a bit of review in the beginning in case readers have forgotten some of the first book or haven't read it.

I was disappointed that Jack's best friend dresses up as an Indian fo...more
Halloween has come to Norvelt right at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Jack dresses up as the local serial killer to trick or treat, but no one finds him funny. Even Jack loses his sense of humor when another old lady is killed right in front of him from a poisoned cookie. Miss Volker, the last surviving original Norvelt woman, takes the murder very personally since the serial killer had been killing in order to marry her. She is intent on revenge and takes Jack along with her on a cross...more
As twelve-year-old Jack Gantos and his parents prepare to leave the town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, behind for a move to Florida, the town's serial killer strikes again. This time, he (or she) poisons Mrs. Custard on Halloween. Jack has the bright idea of dressing up like Spizz, the presumed murderer of all those elderly women in the previous title, Dead End in Norvelt. Needless to say, his costume does not go over well. When Eleanor Roosevelt, the town's founder, dies, Miss Volker needs Jack's a...more
Nov 30, 2013 Ed added it
Gantos, J. (2013). From Norvelt to nowhere. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. 278 pp. ISBN 978-0-374-37994-0. (Hardcover); $16.99.

Sequel to Newbery winning, Dead end in Norvelt, this book is best suited for elementary and middle school students. High school students with a love of mystery, history, and quirky humor will also enjoy this comedic romp from Norvelt to the “nowhere” some call, Florida. Captain Ahab and the White Whale are sighted along the way and a harpoon may even figure into the sto...more
Colleen Martin
Didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the first (Dead End in Norvelt). The story just kind of meandered and I didn't care enough about it to really focus and pay attention to what was going on. There WERE some laugh-out-loud parts (as a vertically challenged person myself, I particularly liked the quote in reference to Jack's school friend Bunny: "Anyone that stumpy is evil."), but it wasn't as zany or entertaining as Dead End. I will say though that I love the narrator's voice - I can very vi...more
This book was okay. I think it struggles to find an audience, in that it seems dark for kids and yet some of the themes are kid oriented. I have to assume that the humor is sarcastic in that the 12 year old main character is kissing an elderly woman, Miss Volker, and Mr. Spitz is jealous of this 12 year old kid's romance with the elderly woman. Too the themes of murderous anger were rather dark. However, there were echoes of the humor of "Joey Pigsza Swallowed the Key" trilogy, like the septic t...more
Here's a funny (probably only to me) story about this book. I thought I'd listen to it on audiobook, since everyone says that Jack Gantos is so hilarious and charming in person. Since I was going to be at the Central Library for a meeting, I meandered to the Children's Literature department during a break, grabbed the CD, and checked it out at a self-check out machine. Over the next few days I made it through the first two CDs, but it sounded really familiar. I thought to myself, "Gosh, this sto...more
I was a fan of the first Norvelt book, but felt like the sequel fell short--mostly because irascible Mrs. Volker didn't seem in character for most of it as she threatens to kill Mr. Spizz with a harpoon. But oh well…it resolves itself at the end.

As the book opens, Mr. Spizz is still on the lam for killing all the old ladies in "Dead End at Norvetl". Mrs. Volker is briefly not the only original old lady left in Norvelt because Mrs. Custard has moved back from Utah--but on Halloween, Bunny and Jac...more
When last we left Jack Gantos (the character, not the author), the mystery of the murders of the Original Norvelters had been solved, his ever-bleeding nose had been repaired, and he'd even managed to talk some temporary sense into his father. However, once Jack's mother sends him on a trip to accompany the curmudgeonly Miss Volker to Eleanor Roosevelt's grave, everything rapidly deteriorates again. Jack and Miss Volker end up on a journey to Florida -- a journey filled with Classics Illustrated...more
Sue Poduska
Get ready for more antics from that Gantos boy, hero to fourth grade boys and girls everywhere. From his Halloween costume that looks like the local serial killer to digging a fallout shelter right into his family’s septic tank, Jack’s misadventures are memorable and hilarious. Although Jack tends to get all his literary information from Illustrated Classics, there is enough about Moby Dick and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to make the references interesting and informative, and to encourage further l...more
This was one wild road trip--what a romp! Far-fetched? Absolutely, but that was what made it so much fun. I love Miss Volker. She is one crazy lady who sure knows her history even though she is a bit "around the bend."
The book does rely on your having read the first book, Dead End in Norvelt. You could get by if you didn't; the references would just be a bit obscure, but an adult would be able to figure them out (not so for a kid-and that's the targeted audience) I read the first book so long ag...more
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Jack Gantos is an American author of children's books renowned for his portrayal of fictional Joey Pigza, a boy with ADHD. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery Honor, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library Association, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Award. His newest book, The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs (2006), deals with twins, euge...more
More about Jack Gantos...
Dead End in Norvelt Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1) Hole in My Life Joey Pigza Loses Control What Would Joey Do?

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