Article Title

Dead End in Novelt


Pat Frade


Excellent, Intermediate, Jack Gantos, History, 20th Century

Document Type

Book Review


Twelve-year-old Jack Gantos has big plans for his summer vacation until he is grounded because of a feud between his parents. He resigns himself to a summer of reading history books and digging a bomb shelter for his dad. His only freedom away from the house is to help his elderly neighbor, Miss Volker. Miss Volker has arthritis in her hands and has an unusual task for Jack—writing and typing the obituaries for the town newspaper. Any time Jack gets nervous, scared or excited, his nose would bleed, which happens quite often. The two make quite the team: Jack driving Miss Volker around town, and Miss Volker assisting Jack with his nose bleeding problem. As the summer continues, Jack and Miss Volker are kept busy when the older ladies in town start dying off faster than expected. Jack wonders if there is a curse on the town.