Dead End In Norvelt takes place during the Post-WW II era. The book is about a boy named Jack, who gets grounded for half a summer for shooting his father's Japanese sniper rifle from WW II. Then he gets grounded for the other half of the summer when he mows down his mother's corn crops to make a runway for his dad's airplane. The only break in his punishment is to go next door to his ancient neighbor, Mrs. Volker, to write obituaries and protect her from her nutty old boyfriend, Mr. Spizz. He doesn't want to hang out with a old lady, but visiting her leads him to a mystery about the deaths of the old ladies in Norvelt.
The book is one of my favorites, and I've read it six times. The story is longer than The Cat Who Came In off the Roof, but still short enough to read in a day or two.
If you like mysteries or comedies you would definitely like this. Jack Gantos also wrote a sequel, From Norvelt To Nowhere, which may be my next post, so stay tuned!