This rocket-paced follow-up to the Newbery Medal–winning novel Dead End in Norvelt opens deep in the shadow of the Cuban missile crisis. But instead of Russian warheads, other kinds of trouble are raining down on young Jack Gantos and his utopian town of Norvelt in western Pennsylvania. After an explosion, a new crime by an old murderer, and the sad passing of the town's founder, twelve-year-old Jack will soon find himself launched on a mission that takes him hundreds of miles away, escorting his slightly mental elderly mentor, Miss Volker, on her relentless pursuit of the oddest of outlaws. But as their trip turns south in more ways than one, it's increasingly clear that the farther from home they travel, the more off-the-wall Jack and Miss Volker's adventure becomes, in From Norvelt to Nowhere, a raucous road novel about roots and revenge, a last chance at love, and the power of a remarkable friendship.
A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
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Katherine Applegate Interviews Jack Gantos
Katherine Applegate: Your alter-ego Jackie Gantos is back! Of all his hysterical new antics in From Norvelt to Nowhere, which scene did you have the most fun writing?
Jack Gantos: That’s a tough question. There are so many good scenes. There is the harpoon scene, and the pistol escapade, and the over imbibing, the creepy bathroom stall scene ... I’ll settle on the scene where Miss Volker is using the sandwich bread to wipe the unending tears from her guilty crying while the soggy bread balls roll down her face like they were little white garden snails. That scene sinks into chaos for Jack.
KA: In the new book, Jack and Miss Volker visit some odd historical sites on their wild road trip, including a real ghost town. Is Rugby, Tennessee, still abandoned?
JG: Rugby is a great old town started by Thomas Hughes, who had written Tom Brown's School Days. He traveled from England and began the town which was built on socialist/utopic principles. The town was a perfect fit for Miss Volker’s childhood back story, and it had been abandoned for many years. But it has had a bit of a revival. The fabulous library has always been intact, though it was boarded up for many decades. The town’s origins parallel the origins of Norvelt.
KA: Is there a memorable, silly, or just plain embarrassing question you recall being asked at a school visit?
JG: After a Rotten Ralph presentation a baby-faced first grader stood up and with a very sincere voice asked me what had happened to the real cat that inspired Rotten Ralph. The boy seemed very troubled. I replied as sincerely as possible, "Well, he lived a wonderful life for many, many years until finally ... he expired."
He shifted from foot to foot and thought about that last word. Finally he asked, "What does expired mean?"
I paused. Time was passing. The other kids were getting restless so I got to the point. "It means he died," I said.
He thought about that, then asked, "Well, did you stuff him?"
"I should have," I replied while thinking, dang, I really should have. But it was too late for that.
KA: When you autograph books, you often write "Read or Rot!" Why?
JG: Oh, it’s just a fun little motto that basically boils down to Read books or your brain will Rot. I usually draw a skull and write READ OR ROT! in blood red ink across the forehead. Kids like it.
KA: Writing pre-Newbery. Writing post-Newbery. Any difference?
JG: There are differences but they are all very shadowy. There are no statements to be made about the differences. There are only questions. I honestly don’t spend a lot of time pondering this as I’ll probably invent a problem where none exists.
KA: Where do you keep your Medal?
JG: In the freezer. When I have guests over for dinner and make individual butter pats for each plate I use the medal to imprint the butter. This way the conversation starts off about me.About the Author:
Jack Gantos was raised in the town of Norvelt and now lives in Boston. In addition to his two Norvelt novels, he is also the acclaimed author of the Joey Pigza series, the Jack Henry story collections, and the many Rotten Ralph books.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description MacMillan Audio, 2013. preloaded_digital_audio_player. Book Condition: Good. PLAYAWAY. Reliable and Presentable PLAYAWAY EDITION. Withdrawn from the library collection. Digital audio player already pre-loaded audio book. PLAYAWAY IS EASY TO USE! Just plug in the earphones, press the power button ON and begin to listen and enjoy. This PLAYAWAY comes in the original orange sturdy plastic Playaway case with some library markings. Included is an earphone and new battery. So convenient. Light weight with a powerful purpose. Take along on your next journey. Makes a sensitive get well gift! Enjoy the convenience and versatility for all your travel and leisure needs. Bookseller Inventory # 022920161405541