The town had emptied out because this was prize day at the fair. But when we went by The Coffee Pot Cafe, there were faces at the window, and a loafer or two paused on the sidewalk to see us pass. Grandma inclined her head slightly. Most people wouldn’t take their bows till after they’d won a blue ribbon, but Grandma wasn’t most people (p 67).
Joey and his sister Mary Alice spend a week each summer at their Grandma Dowdel’s Illinois house, where their larger-than-life Grandma alternately ignores and instigates the townsfolk, cleverly outwitting them all. An excellent book whose humor I enjoyed. I highly recomend it.
At our last mock Newbery meeting, someone posed the question, “Will the committee select a funny book?” Dead End in Norvelt is hilarious and it’s on our reading list for this weekend’s meeting but when was the last time a straight-up funny book won?
Turtle in Paradise had its laugh out loud moments. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg was a riot! Oh, and The Wednesday Wars had me in stitches. But the most recent funny book to win the Newbery Award was 2000’s A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (it also happened to be the year Gantos was awarded an honor for Joey Pigza Loses Control).
So does a funny book like Dead End in Norvelt (or The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True for that matter) have a chance at taking the prize? Like A Year Down Yonder, it is historical fiction and if the past awards are anything to judge by, the committee members love a good historical fiction!
Library copy | Dial Books for Young Readers | ISBN 0-8037-2290-7 | Ages 8-12 | $16.99