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Parents' Guide to

Dead End in Norvelt

By Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Charming story of a small-town boy's unlikely adventures.

Dead End in Norvelt Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 9+

Excellent Book

This book is fabulous. I don't think the CSM reviewer read the entire book. Otherwise she would point out the real role model in the book. And, the Hells Angels aren't the "real bad guys" in the story. This is one of the best books of the year, and your reviewer didn't do it justice. Come on -- Get to the real meaning of the book.
age 10+

You would want to read it.

It’s a really good book.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (7 ):

There’s a touch of the tall tale in DEAD END IN NORVELT, reinforced by the fact that the main character shares the author's name. (Though this is by no means an autobiography -- the author lived in the real Norvelt only until age 7.) The book's Jack is charming and earnest and serves as a willing foil for Norvelt’s wacky residents. There’s the undertaker's daughter, a small, fearless girl named Bunny, who knows a million dead-person jokes; the tricycle-riding, self-righteous Mr. Spizz, who hands out citations for overgrown weeds; Jack's father, who enlists Jack’s help in building a bomb shelter; and especially Mrs. Volker, the eldest-living Norvelt resident, town coroner, passionate writer of obituaries, and crusader for human rights. Though the characters are wonderfully colorful, the episodic structure sometimes bogs the story down. Still, the humor will carry most readers toward the end when the pace picks up and moves toward an exciting conclusion.

Book Details

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