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From Norvelt to Nowhereby Jack Gantos
Synopses & Reviews
Jack Gantos' rocket-paced follow-up to the Newbery Medal-winning novel Dead End in Norvelt opens in the 1960s, deep in the shadow of the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis. But instead of Russian warheads, other kinds of trouble are raining down on young Jack Gantos and his utopian town of Norvelt in western Pennsylvania. After an explosion, a new crime by an old murderer, and the sad passing of the towns founder, twelve-year-old Jack will soon find himself launched on a mission that takes him hundreds of miles away, escorting his slightly mental elderly mentor, Miss Volker, on her relentless pursuit of the oddest of outlaws. But as their trip turns south in more ways than one, its increasingly clear that the farther from home they travel, the more off-the-wall Jack and Miss Volkers adventure becomes. From Norvelt to Nowhere is a raucous road novel about roots and revenge, a last chance at love, and the power of a remarkable friendship.
A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
"Gantos's sequel to his Newbery-winning Dead End in Norvelt offers less history, more murder, and another hefty helping of zaniness. An explosion shuts school for repairs, leaving Jackie, 12, free to accompany Miss Volker to Hyde Park, N.Y., to pay last respects to Norvelt's recently deceased founder, Eleanor Roosevelt. Death (and a detective) seem to shadow Jackie around every bend: Mr. Spizz, the murder suspect from Dead End in Norvelt, is still at large when a new victim dies, and the travelers head to Florida when Miss Volker learns her twin sister has expired (she suspects foul play). During their road trip, Jackie reads Classics Illustrated comics that his mother has forbidden. 'Those,' she tells him, 'are what cheaters and idiots read.' But Miss Volker uses Jackie's reading as a springboard to examine the life she's lived, confessing her own Jekyll and Hyde personality and drawing a hilarious analogy between herself and Spizz to Ahab and his whale. The anxieties of the Cold War recede, overshadowed by these two larger-than-life characters bent on bringing a murderer to justice in the kookiest way possible. Ages 10 — 14. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Young Jack accompanies Miss Volker on a wild pursuit of the chief suspect in the Norvelt murders, while being pursued themselves.
About the Author
Jack Gantos was raised in the town of Norvelt and now lives in Boston. In addition to his two Norvelt novels, he is also the acclaimed author of the Joey Pigza series, the Jack Henry story collections, and the many Rotten Ralph books.
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