Thoughts on the books I'm reading. Mostly young adult, but some adult and younger grade readers as well.
Book reviews of YA lit and more
As a middle school librarian and hopeful reader of Missouri's high school award books (Gateway nominees), I am reading and reviewing as many young adult and middle grade novels as I can while working on my own writing for this age group.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Dead End in Norvelt- Jack Gantos
This book won the 2012 Newbery medal, and as usual I hadn't read it yet, but had to put it on hold at the library as soon as I heard it won. I'm so glad I did! This book is the mostly true, but probably some fictional, story of Jack Gantos during a summer of his life where he gets grounded and as punishment has to help an elderly neighbor write obituaries of the dying original members of the town. Being a person that find obituaries themselves fascinating, I was intrigued by this "punishment". Through these obituary writings Jack is lead on one adventure after another in this small, somewhat dying town. Everything from the Hell's Angels to a possible murder colors his odd, but interesting, summer. The young teenage boy voice is dead on in this book (I guess I can say that although I have never been a young teenage boy). I read an excerpt where he goes deer hunting with his dad to my own son and we both laughed so hard we had tears. I would highly recommend this book to any upper elementary/middle school kid. The boys will love the main character, but I also think girls would get a kick out of it. Great choice for the Newbery this year!