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  • Published: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 341 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 920

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780374379933
  • 0374379939



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Dead end in Norvelt

by Gantos, Jack.

There are currently 4 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction, R Newbery Medal 2012

Available Copies: Downtown Teen, 1st Floor, Malletts Teen

Additional Details

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Community Reviews

dead end

read it at 5th grade


Awesome book! Really great read.


Jack's summer is filled with problems; his nose bleeds uncontrollably whenever he's startled or scared, he's stuck in the middle of his parents fighting, and he's grounded for the entire summer, meaning he can only leave home to help the weird Mrs. Volker write obituaries.

Gantos does an excellent job drawing readers into the world of small-town Norvelt, causing his readers to care about the senior residents of the town and their history, as Jack learns to care as well. Jack and his problems are utterly relatable-- grounding, fighting parents, boredom-- but the unusual things that happen keep the book funny and exciting. History is naturally woven into the plot, and readers will learn without feeling lectured. Though the book could have benefited from a page or two at the end discussing the aspects that were true, particularly because the main character shares the same first and last name as the author, Dead End in Norvelt is still a winner.

not a dead end book

I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't my favorite YA read of 2011. I'm a super fan of Gary Schmidt's "The Wednesday Wars" and "Okay For Now," and this reminded of those at times. Particulary "Okay For Now," both being historical and the main character befriends a charasmatic elderly lady. I preferred "Okay For Now" over this one, for the narrator's sense of heart and wit, but Jack is still a fun voice to read. I liked that it was an "entirely true and the wildly fictional" account of Jack's childhood. I loved the scenes of he and the elderly neighbor composing obituaries together.

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