Today we were pleased to welcome Mr. Jack Gantos to our Middle School. He is out on tour to support his new semi-autobiographical novel, Dead End in Norvelt. (take a listen to the audio clip found on the Macmillan website…That’s Jack Gantos reading from Dead End in Norvelt!)
He was a fantastic speaker and had our auditorium full of sixth graders rapt with attention.
He spoke a little of how he started writing with the simple act of stealing his sister’s diary and thinking he could do better than that! So he got a journal book and started keeping notes.
Not the boring …It was a good day type of journals… no Jack’s diaries were about the dog getting eaten by an alligator in the back year and throwing up on the wall because the toilet seat was still warm after his sisters last visit.
Classic Guys Read types of stories.
I have only begun to read Dead End in Norvelt, but from what I have read and what I learned was actually true about the story I am really looking forward to finishing the book. He kept hinting about something to do with Girl Scout Cookies, but even after repeated questions from the audience to more information he would not fill us in. Apparently it would spoil the ending for us all.
Jack Gantos is an incredibly funny guy and his novels are all both hilarious and heart-breaking in all the best ways. Do your self a favor and check a few of his books out.
So here is a cool Guys Read story for you. I have having Mr. Gantos sign my Guys Read books and he told the story of how he got into the original Guys Write for Guys Read book. The story goes that Jon Scieszka called up Jack as Gantos was about to board a plane to Bangkok and asked him to write a short story for this new GR anthology. So Gantos spent the long flight to Bangkok writing the story for Guys Write for Guys Read. I now have Scieszka and Gantos signatures in that sacred document. I need to get that filled with signatures, don’t you think? I think Richard Peck is visiting town in a few months…could be number three.
Read On My Friends,