Sarah's Reviews > Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
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's review
Feb 28, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: kidlit
Read in February, 2012

Newbery, 2012

Memoir of Jack Gantos' 12th summer: grounded and working as a helper to his neighbor, the spit-fire old lady, Miss Volker. The two are a hilarious pair. She helps him by cauterizing the inside of his nose to stop chronic bleeding and teaches him to drive. He helps her by peeling hot paraffin wax off her arthritic hands, running all manner of errands, and being her scribe for her (almost daily!) obituary column.

Despite the fact that I laughed out loud quite a bit, I give three stars because my interest wavered as the conflict didn't get too compelling until much later in the story, and then it picked up for me again. Many parts of this would make fun read-aloud passages and good models for dialogue. Historical setting, 1962, in an old coal-mining town.

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