Study Guide

Dead End in Norvelt Chapter 17

By Jack Gantos

Chapter 17

  • Hm. Guess this summer isn't turning out to be so boring after all, even if Jack is grounded.
  • Bunny doesn't quite have the same opinion. She's increasingly ticked off that Jack is wasting his summer by being grounded.
  • This is not entirely logical, but we'd be bummed if our best friend were locked up all summer, too.
  • He trades his ONE FLIGHT IN THE J-3 ticket so he can play in a baseball game.
  • This transaction is made while Jack's mom is cooking for the old ladies again (Hmmm… wild mushrooms and dying old ladies. Could it be …)
  • D'oh! Miss Volker intercepts Jack on his way to the baseball field, and his plans are temporarily foiled.
  • Another one bites the dust: Mrs. Linga has died.
  • At Mrs. Linga's house, Jack notices one of his mother's casseroles (partially eaten) and some of the Thin Mints that Jack had helped Miss Volker with, also partially eaten.
  • Okay, the thing we don't buy here is that the Thin Mints were only partially eaten. Everyone knows that the only way to eat Thin Mints is to devour the entire box in one sitting.
  • After transcribing Mrs. Linga's obituary, Jack sees his father driving a big trailer with a Norvelt house on it.
  • The empty Norvelt houses are being moved to Eleanor, West Virginia (another model town founded at the same time and under the same principles as Norvelt).
  • Miss Volker comes up with the idea of having a "Protect Norvelt" project to preserve the town's empty houses and prevent them from being sold to the other community.
  • We then hear a most improbable anarchist love story: Two anarchists (Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman), wanted to start a revolution by assassinating a filthy rich mine and factory owner (Henry Frick). Emma stayed true to her swain by waiting many years for Alexander to get out of prison. 
  • Jack's nose starts bleeding again (so maybe Miss Volker's surgery did not completely fix the problem).