by Jack Gantos
Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal.
I must say that I went into this book with some hesitation. I have not been overly impressed with some of the recent Newbery picks and did not like the last book I read by this author. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by this offering.
Told by a character named Jack Gantos, we get to spend his summer with him while he is grounded in his small quirky town called Norvelt. Jack's world is filled with many eccentric neighbors from an old lady who cooks her hands and loves writing obituaries, to an old man who travels around on a gigantic tricycle to a girl who lives in the mortuary.
Told with warmth and a healthy respect for history with a lot of humor thrown in I enjoyed this story and can see what the Newbery committee was thinking.