Gantos, as always, delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.
An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally named ‘Jack Gantos.' The gore is all Jack's, which to his continuing embarrassment ‘would spray out of my nose holes like dragon flames' whenever anything exciting or upsetting happens. And that would be on every other page, seemingly . . . Characteristically provocative gothic comedy, with sublime undertones.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Nobody can tell a story like Jack Gantos can. And this is a story like no other. It's funny. It's thoughtful. It's history. It's weird. But you don't need me to attempt to describe it. Get in there and start reading Gantos.
Jon Scieszka, founder of guysread.com and author of the Spaceheadz series
“This is a brilliant
book, full of history, mystery, and laughs. It reminded me of my small-town
childhood, although my small town was never as delightfully weird as Norvelt.”
Dave Barry, New York Times bestselling author
“Gantos captures the voice of a middle-school boy in a relatable way, with plenty of self-consciousness and humor, and he infuses the storyline with a sense of mystery, danger, and adventure…This is an engaging story that makes for compelling listening.
Parents Choice Gold Award
The audiobook was just for fun, since Jack narrated it himself and I'd listen to him read a grocery list, his delivery is that funny.
Horn Book Magazine
Gantos narrates this laugh-out-loud semi-autobiographical tale, providing a pitch-perfect rendition of Jack's sarcasm, exaggeration, and whining.
School Library Journal
Listening to [Jack Gantos] – both his voice and the crazy tales he tells – reminds me a bit of David Sedaris. Fans of his work will likely enjoy this as well. The attitude is the same, too. He doesn't judge, he just tells it as he sees it. The dialogue and the first person reflections make audio an ideal way to experience it.
5 Minutes for Books
Looking for a great audiobook for boys? This is it. Further blurring the line between fact and fiction in this autobiographical novel, author Jack Gantos narrates himself, sharing the 1962 summer adventures of his eponymous hero as he navigates adolescence and a dying town caught between two eras…The story is a little odd and a lot funny. Gantos's delivery is dry and wry, and even when characters don't get distinctive voices, the action and emotion are utterly clear. A gem.
It is hard to imagine anyone other than Jack Gantos reading Dead End in Norvelt. Like most of his books, this is slightly autobiographical (Gantos was born in Norvelt but did not grow up there). Listeners really hear the intended inflections and accents as well as the energy and emotion found in the story.
Library Media Connection
Dead End in Norvelt, this year's Newberry winner for best young adult fiction, is even more hilarious in audio form as read by author Jack Gantos. My family howled out loud as we listened to it during a spring break drive to California.
The Bellingham Herald
This is a brilliant book, full of history, mystery, and laughs. It reminded me of my small-town childhood, although my small town was never as delightfully weird as Norvelt.
A bit of autobiography works its way into all of Gantos's work, but he one-ups himself in this wildly entertaining meld of truth and fiction by naming the main character . . . Jackie Gantos.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
A fast-paced and witty read.
School Library Journal
A more quietly (but still absurdly) funny and insightful account of a kid's growth, kin to Gantos's Jack stories, that will stealthily hook even resistant readers into the lure of history.
This winning novel, both humorous and heartwarming, takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and spends most of his days grounded. Jack's main ‘get out of jail free card,' and one of the novel's most charming characters, is Miss Volker. The blossoming of their friendship coincides with the blooming of Jack's character.
Shelf Awareness Pro
There's more than laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the power of reading.
The Horn Book, starred review
The Newbury Medal-winning book has all the ingredients for a great audiobook – a strong narrative voice, a blend of humor and pathos, and a performer who has unique authority: it all happened to him, with some subtle fictionalizations.
wacky…The darkly comic mystery and oddball characters make for some good
laughs, but the riffs on history raise the consciousness as well.”
“A bit of
autobiography works its way into all of Gantos’s work, but he one-ups himself
in this wildly entertaining meld of truth and fiction by naming the main
character…Jackie Gantos…Memorable in every way.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“There’s more than
laugh-out-loud gothic comedy here. This is a richly layered
semi-autobiographical tale, an ode to a time and place, to history and the
power of reading.”
Horn Book (starred review)
provocative gothic comedy, with sublime undertones.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Gantos, as always,
delivers bushels of food for thought and plenty of outright guffaws.”