Dead End in Norvelt

Book review by Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media
Dead End in Norvelt Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

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

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 7 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 10+

The Literate Mother reviews Dead End in Norvelt

I thoroughly enjoyed Dead End in Norvelt, especially its very quirky characters and small town setting. It reminded me of the small town where I grew up, except my town wasn’t nearly as exciting. This is really a history book in disguise and Jack Gantos (who is both the author and the main character) was able to weave some really fantastic history into the book, ranging from the destruction of the Incas by Pizarro to John F. Kennedy’s harrowing WWII experiences. But the history of Norvelt and its people ends up being just as important as the well known stories. Full of clever prose, life lessons and, of course, history, Dead End in Norvelt is a deserving Newbery Medal recipient. Recommended for 5th grade and up.
age 10+

Excellent

very good book.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Okay for Now Poster Image

    Okay for Now

    A troubled boy discovers his self-worth through art.

    age 12+
  • Wonderstruck Poster Image

    Wonderstruck

    Inventive story of runaways in New York, 50 years apart.

    age 9+
  • Playground Poster Image

    Playground

    Rap star's moving novel about a bully redeemed.

    age 12+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate