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Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction! Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore - typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launched on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels. . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.
Jack isn't like the Pagoda brothers. He knows the difference between fun and stupid. Launching yourself across the backyard in a makeshift Roman catapult? Fun. Smoking an entire pack of cigarettes as fast as possible? Stupid. But when it comes to emergency self-surgery...Jack still has something to learn. A short story from the acclaimed collection Guys Read: Funny Business, edited by Jon Scieszka.
Believe it or not, Rotten Ralph turns 25 this spring. During that quarter century, he has entertained many young children with his shenanigans, which are more often than not rather naughty. Young readers and listeners will delight in helping Ralph celebrate his birthday in this all-new recording of Happy Birthday, Rotten Ralph, read by author Jack Gantos, who brings Ralph to life with this lively reading. This resealable package comes with a paperback and a two-sided cassette tape. The audio production includes lively sound effects and original music. Side one includes page-turn signals; side two features an uninterrupted reading.
In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.
Joey's father returns, calling himself Charles Heinz and apologizing for his past bad behavior, and he swears that once Joey and his mother change their names and help him fix up the old diner he has bought, their lives will change for the better.
"He was wired. No dougbt about it. . . Now I know what Mom meant when she said he was like me, only bigger. " Joey Pigza really wants his six-week visit with his dad to count, to show him he's not as wired as he used to be, to show his dad how much he loves him. But Carter Pigza's not an easy guy to love. He's eager to make it up to Joey for past wrongs and to show him how to be a winner, to take control of his life. With his coaching, Joey's even learned how to pitch a baseball, and he's good at it. The trouble is, Joey's dad thinks taking control means giving up the things that "keep Joey safe." And if he wants to please his dad, he's going to have to play by his rules, even when the rules don't make sense.
Joey Pigza can't sit still, he can't follow the rules, and he can't concentrate when his meds aren't working. He's had these problems since he was born, problems just like his dad and grandma have. And whether he's wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key, Joey's problems are getting worse. In fact, his behavior is so off the wall that his teachers are threatening to send him to the special-ed center downtown. Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right? For older children.
On an unseasonably warm Easter Sunday, a young girl named Ivy discovers a chilling secret in the basement of the Rumbaugh pharmacy across the street from the hotel where she lives with her mother. The discovery reveals a disturbing side to the eccentric lives of family friends Abner and Adolph Rumbaugh, known throughout their small western Pennsylvania town simply as the Twins. It seems that Ab and Dolph have been compelled by a powerful mutual love for their deceased mother to do something outrageous, something that in its own twisted way bridges the gap between the living and the dead. Immediately, Ivy's discovery provokes the revelation of a Rumbaugh family curse, a curse that, as Ivy will learn over the coming years, holds a strange power over herself and her own mother.
Poor Rotten Ralph. His health just isn't what it used to be. Thanks to his rotten ways, he's down to the very last of his nine lives! "One more slip and he'll be gone forever," warns the vet. Sarah, Ralph's doting owner, is fiercely determined to keep her cat safe. But how much coddling can Ralph take before he has to do something totally and utterly rotten? In this ninth tale about the most delightfully disobedient cat in town, being naughty has never looked so good to Rotten Ralph. But then again, after a hard day's rotten work, neither does the warmth and safety of Sarah's lap!
In desperation, Sarah sends Rotten Ralph to feline finishing school. Will Ralph's mischief finally be a thing of the past? This package comes with a paperback and a two-sided cassette tape. The professionally narrated audio production includes lively sound effects and original music. Side one includes page-turn signals; side two features an uninterrupted reading.
Ralph, a very, very nasty cat, finally sees the error of his ways -- or does he?
Rotten Ralph is not at all nice to the Christmas visitor.
One morning, Sarah wakes Ralph up with a great big kiss. "Happy Valentine's Day!" she says. Rotten Ralph hides under his pillow. Sarah tells him to make a valentine for Petunia's party, and dresses him in a Cupid outfit. "Be careful with those arrows," she warns Ralph. "Anything your arrow hits is going to want to kiss you." Rotten Ralph will do almost anything to avoid kisses! This eighth hilarious story featuring that irrepressible cat proves, once again, that even though Ralph sometimes misbehaves, he will always be Sarah's favorite valentine.
Sarah wakes Ralph up with a great big kiss. "Happy Valentine's Day!" she says. Rotten Ralph hides under his pillow. Sarah is very excited to take Ralph to Petunia's Valentine's Day Party. But Ralph will do almost anything to avoid the party and drippy Valentine kisses!
Sarah takes Ralph to school so he can do his ABC's for show and tell, but as usual, the rotten cat refuses to cooperate.
Sarah and Ralph are invited to a Halloween party, and the invitation says, "Come as the thing you love best." So Sarah and Ralph go as each other. But then Ralph starts to make trouble and Sarah gets blamed-Ralph's tricks are no treats for her!
Jack Gantos' acclaimed hero is attempting a breathtaking balancing act, as he tries to keep a handle on his wild, wired behavior without letting his hyperactivity spin him out of control all over again. This is truly a touching story, where Joey makes a friend with another child with disabilities, and finally comes to terms with his dysfunctional family.
Rotten Ralph makes an earnest attempt at good behavior but is enticed, not too reluctantly, into a series of misadventures by some ruffian alley cats. "The gleefully naughty story is matched by antic pictures, so brashly colored that they glow in the dark. " -- Publishers Weekly
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