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Saturday, February 01, 2014

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos

From Norvelt to NowhereThis is the sequel to Dead End in Norvelt, a Newbery award winner! This book can be read by itself, but "Gantos boy" and I suggest reading Dead End in Norvelt first.  Jack Gantos is twelve in this book and has to go on a long trip with his arthritic neighbor, Miss Volker.  The trip involves many twists and turns.  They are on a mission to solve the mystery of several deaths of the founding ladies in the town of Norvelt.

Remember that I told you that he is only twelve. Well, you won't believe that Miss Volker teaches Jack instantly how to drive a stick shift car (I do mean instantly). He ends up driving all the way to Florida. Miss Volker often comments about him reading illustrated editions instead of "real" books. They have a long time to discuss racism, democracy and Miss Volker's strong anti-war sentiments. This book is great for seeing different perspectives. How can an author of the opposite gender give such strong, realistic voices to women? They had great discussions. Before you run off and read this offbeat autobiographical novel, here is a quote:

The earth has its own axis but the heart and humanity of America pivots at the feet of Lincoln

Wait  -  there is more

We are not so much defined by the wars we fight across the globe, but by the wars we have fought within ourselves as a nation

Wait  -  there is more

How can doing anything you want be utopian? I asked. You have to have rules

Wait  -  there is more

If you don't question yourself, you can never change your mind

Wait  -  there is more...


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