Monthly Archives April 2012

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos – book review

A boy in a white t-shirt stands behind a "Dead End" sign

I’ve got a bunch of young adult and juvenile novels that I want to read so this will be one of many coming up in the next few months. Dead End in Norvelt was the winner of the 2012 Newbery Award and I just happened to get a copy of this one and another book autographed by the author at the Texas Book Festival last October. First a little explanation about the title town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania. In the 1930’s Eleanor Roosevelt put together these little towns to help people who were not so well off financially find out. Norvelt got its name from the last syllable of Eleanor and the last syllable of Roosevelt. The novel takes place in the late 1950’s.

This story is sem...

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11/22/63 by Stephen King – book review

Newspaper clipping with headline "JFK Slain In Dallas, LBJ Takes Oath"

Jake Epping is an English teacher in Maine. He teaches GED classes in the summer and he gets an essay from the school janitor who is in his class that breaks his heart. The janitor’s name is Harry Dunning and the essay is about a horrible event on Halloween when he was 9 years old and his father came home in a drunken rampage and slaughtered his whole family with a big sledge hammer. Harry was in the bathroom and when he came out, he saw the carnage and narrowly escaped getting killed himself. Instead he was wounded in the leg and had a head injury that made him a little slow mentally. Epping couldn’t believe what he was reading and talked to the janitor. They went to Al’s Diner and Al put Harry’s picture up on the wall of fame in the diner. A few days later Al told Jake that he needed to talk to him.

In the pantry of Al’s d...

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