Betsy Brainerd's Reviews > Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
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's review
Feb 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: award-winner, junior-fiction, teen
Read in February, 2012

As is commonly the case with well-written novels, a reader of this story finds herself hoping that it is more fact than fiction. Gantos bases this story on just enough historical fact to make that a possibility, but, nah. Darn it! Set in Norvelt, PA, where, it turns out, Gantos lived until he was about 9, in a Roosevelt planned community (learned something there), we follow what should be an uneventful summer for Jackie Gantos, a teen who has been grounded. But dead bodies, an elderly neighbor with a penchant for dipping body parts in hot liquid, and a father's desperate effort to literally fly away from a dying town, all overlaid by the inconvenience of unpredictable nosebleeds, and a growing appreciation for the meaning of community, blend together to make a rich story and a summer that is anything but boring.

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