Kristin's Reviews > Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
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's review
Jan 23, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: boys, family, historical-fiction, humor, middle-grade, mystery, newbery, read-in-2012, summer, ya-for-adults-club
Read from February 07 to 15, 2012

Check this review out and others on my blog: Get Real.

Wow did this book fail to endear me to it in any way. The kid was probably one of the most wooden, non-present narrators (and that's saying something since it's more or less supposed to be the author). And that old lady, she had her moments, but I'm getting tired of stories about lunatic old ladies changing the lives of impressionable young kids. Historical fiction was done pretty well actually, and for that reason it's not a complete loss. However, it still could have been done better.

The town of Norvelt is dying, literally. The people keep dying off, but no one seems to be moving in. And when the houses are left behind, they are instead shipped to a different town named after Eleanor Roosevelt, as this one is.

This story meandered around and around, and mostly just provided readers with small snippets of history, and developments regarding Jack's bloody nose. The narrator was really annoying, and I have to say I'd be tempted to make this kid's nose bleed, because he liked to whine quite a bit (personal hate).

Pointless mystery thrown in at the end that was not deal with at the level of seriousness it should have been. I like dark humor, but this didin't even really have that. It was just thrown in after pages and pages of obituaries about the dying old people of Norvelt.... There were so many other books the Newbery Committee could and should have chosen this year.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly A. Lol. I don't know if I want to read an entire book about a bloody nose. Let me know if it gets any better!

Kristin this did not get any better haha. good luck! i felt it was my duty to finish it, but let me tell you i was really tempted to skim the last 100 pages. i'm sure you'll be happy to know jack's nose does eventually stop bleeding...

message 3: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly A. Hmmm...I might put this at the very bottom of my to-read priority list. I'm happy to hear there wasn't a death by nosebleed!

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