Gantos, Jack. From Norvelt to Nowhere.
September 24th 2013
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This sequel to Dead End in Norvelt is just as quirky as the original: Jack and Miss Volker are at it again. When Spizz, who killed all the old ladies in town so he could marry Miss Volker, apparently kills Mrs. Custard (who has just moved to town) as well, Jack knows he has to act. However, Miss Volker's sister dies in Florida, so the two take off on the train to attend the funeral, the thought being that Miss Volker can't travel on her own. They end up getting involved in a variety of schemes, and eventually figure out who the real murderer is.
Strengths: This has some really quirky moments, such as when Jack falls into a septic tank, when Miss Volker attempts to restore her hands in boiling hot split pea soup and then the "fountain of youth", and the plot moved quickly enough. If the first book is popular in your library, I would definitely buy.
Weaknesses: Not a personal favorite. I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough even to be convinced that Mrs. Custard would have been killed by a poisoned Thin Mint cookie.
Starting Sunday, It's Boys Read Pink Month! Author Alexander Vance will be our celebrity sponsor. My students have already started to check out books for this event!