So many wonderful lines that made me laugh out loud! My favorite character was Mrs. Volker- she may be one of my all time favorite characters. One of my favorite lines comes when Jack admits to his friend Bunny that he loves to smell books. She is not amused and says "You used to be my friend, but now you stink as a friend! I came over here to give you a second chance and you make me smell the crotch of an old book!" So funny! Very touching- slow at the get go, but it really pulls together in the end. A great way to get boys to read historical fiction? Hand them this Newbery Winner!
As you will learn from the book, Norvelt was established in 1934. It was a town built to provide homes to out of work or injured coal miners. Up until this point, coal miners and their families lived in terrible conditions. As part of The New Deal, 250 homes were built for families.
Originally named Westmoreland Homesteads, it was later renamed Norvelt after Eleanor Roosevelt. 1,800 people applied for the 250 openings in the town. Those who were selected went to work building their own houses. After the homes were complete, the people received a wheel barrow, shovel, rake and hoe next to a pile of dirt where they created their own lawn. They also needed to paint their home. They could pick from white, grey or yellow. Each plot of land had gardens, grape vines, corn crops and a chicken coop.