Book Review~ Dead End in Norvelt

Author: Jack Gantos0D6C673F-E411-4C9F-A9DC-1A4B77495FE0

Genre: Middle Grade,

Newbery Winner 2012

Pages: 341

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

My Review

“History lasts forever!!” Yelled Mrs Volker… who writes the obituaries for the Norvelt Newspaper.

This is in part a true story of one summer in the dead end town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania. It is an amazing and over the top story about an eleven year old boy named Jack, Jack Gantos actually, yes… the one and the same author. 🤪

It is a story written at least in part from his childhood in Norvelt. 

One summer Jack finds himself “grounded for life” and his only entertainment comes from helping the elderly Mrs Volker write her obituaries as she can’t seem to type anymore. 

Mrs Volker is from Norvelt and truly loves her town, the community and all the history that goes along with it, minus Mr Spizz. Mrs Volker also happens to write the “today in history” section and through a summer of writing obituaries and “today in history” Jack becomes well, a writer himself…? 😍863DA5E8-9BC0-4A9A-BC10-750A5A709F48

By the end of the summer Jack has learned so much history of the people of Norvelt and his country he is able to apply it to his own life and family. What a wonderful story about community and family.


Even if a dead end town like Norvelt can’t survive, the stories and lives of the people who lived here will, at least if Mrs. Volker has anything to say about it.

While reading this story at times I kept overthinking it wondering what the real story was about…but by the end of the book I was in-love with Jack and his summer…

Have you read many of the Newbery Winners? Which is your favorite?

Happy Reading!


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2 replies »

  1. I’ve always loved Island of the Blue Dolphins. I read it first when I was in 3rd grade and I’ve read it a couple times since then.

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