Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 10Y5.773597

Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction!

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore―typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published on May 7, 2013 by Square Fish
ISBN-10: 1250010233
ISBN-13: 9781250010230
49 Book Reviews
  • mahomes1
    mahomes1Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 6:54 pm55 stars
    I think the story is a autobiography so far.
    • inmemoryofcpr
      inmemoryofcprSaturday, May 25, 2019 at 4:31 pm44 stars
      When Jack is grounded he is forced to help his neighbor, an old and unusual woman, who is the person who writes the newspaper. But when some suspicious activity sprouts in their town that involve motorcycle gangs and an odd man on a trike, he goes on many exciting adventures.
      • ZotitotsWednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:46 am
        I really liked the book, it was really interesting, and I loved the setting. I like the dad's point of view as well, it is really interesting to see from another person's viewpoint.
        • bootyThursday, February 4, 2016 at 10:46 am
          • renzo_w
            renzo_wThursday, January 28, 2016 at 2:09 am
            This book is interesting and it has a great point of view of this kid and this book is good for ages from 8 - 12. This book talks about this kid getting grounded because he did a serious thing that his parents told him not to do. And he tries to do everything and past this grounded days. A lot of people can relate to this situation even if you never got grounded. But just imagine that you couldn't do anything for a long time.
            • kcurielFriday, September 25, 2015 at 7:42 am
              15 The book that I am reading is dead end and I like this book because it is funny and interesting what I am reading is that that the main character jack shot his dads gun when when he came back he he told jack to mow his moms corn but he remember that his mom told him if he did it she would tell his dad that he fired the gun and he would be in big trouble but his dad found out because his mom was calling him and she said if you don’t come out he would tell his dad he fired the gun and his dad was with him so that’s how his dad found out and that’s what I read and I recommend this book ages 10 and up
              • beachdog
                beachdogSaturday, May 23, 2015 at 11:06 am
                This book is so cool the author came to my school to it was such a good experience
                • mjbasketball
                  mjbasketballMonday, March 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm55 stars
                  I recommend this book because it has a good sense of humor.It is very interesting because this boy is friends with an old lady and she cooks her hands in boiling water in wax to make her hands work because she has arthritis.I recommend the sequal too!
                  • reviewer101
                    reviewer101Monday, October 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm
                    I met the author at my school!!!
                    • bookworm2345
                      bookworm2345Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm
                      nice I think I am going to have to read it over the summer
                    • emmabookworm5
                      emmabookworm5Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 10:57 am55 stars
                      This book is wonderful! Loved it, loved it, loved it!