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Dead end in Norvelt

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Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is the story of an incredible two months for a boy named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation adventure are suddenly ruined when he is grounded by his feuding parents for what seems like forever. But escape comes where Jack least expects it, once his mom loans him out to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore—a chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, obituaries, Hells Angels, and countless bloody noses. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative about a small western Pennsylvania town is the author at his very best, making readers laugh at the most shocking 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.

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