“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 launched 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.”
“There’s more than laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the power of reading.” —The Horn Book, starred review
“Gantos, as always, delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.” —Booklist
We’re also proud to be the exclusive audio publisher of Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award for Young People’s Literature winner Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai.
“For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by … and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape … and the strength of her very own family.
This is the moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.”
“An enlightening, poignant and unexpectedly funny novel in verse. In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven’t found themselves in a strange new country.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
You can learn more about the Newbery, including who votes on the award, on the Newbery Medal homepage, or click here to see a full list of Newbery winners since the award’s inception in 1922. Recorded Books is pleased to offer more than 75 Newbery Award and Newbery Honor Book winners, a list of which can be seen here.