When Jack Gantos won the Newbery Award in 2012 for Dead End in Norvelt, I was annoyed. How could my favorite not have won?! How could it not even honor?! I basically had a minor librarian meltdown. Luckily, I worked that tantrum out of my system, checked out the winning title, and gave it a chance to impress me. It did just that.
I had quite a different attitude this year when I learned Gantos was going to pen a sequel. I've been eagerly waiting to read From Norvelt to Nowhere. "This rocket-paced follow-up 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." YES!!! The book was published today, September 24, 2013. I'm going to try to be the first person in Hoover to read it. If you beat me to it, I'll try not to have another meltdown.