Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
‘Dead end in Norvelt’ is a semi-autobiographical and semi-fictionalized story about a boy, Jack Gantos, who spends his entire summer grounded. He is volunteered by his mother to help a elderly neighbor. He becomes her typist as she dictates obituaries of the original Norvelt residents. Jack eventually looks forward to helping her each day, not only as a way to get out of the house but, also because he is deeply interested in the stories she has to tell. The story develops to tell some very funny and far-fetched stories: a dancing plague, a conspiracy, Hell’s Angels. This is one odd and memorable summer for Gantos. In the end, this book was really about a town and the stories it had to tell.
The book is actually very interesting, especially for the age it is intended. I am sure pre-teens will find this book very entertaining and comedic. I caught myself laughing out loud a few times. I did not like the abruptness of the ending but, i guess most things were resolved by then.
The books is very well narrated by its author, Jack Gantos, and he really draws you into the story. He pauses in all the right moments to built up suspense, he whines the right amount for a child and he makes you laugh with this audiobook.
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