Jack Gantos (of Rotten Ralph and Joey Pigza fame) wins the 2012 Newbery with this laugh out loud semi-biographical account. The story opens in June 1962 with 12 year old Jack Gantos getting grounded "for life" for accidentally firing his dad's WW II Japanese rifle that he did not know was loaded. Jack will only escape his home prison to help his elderly neighbor: feisty, smart Miss Volkers. The elderly original inhabitants of Norvelt, PA are dying and Miss Volkers is not only the town coroner but also the obituary writer for the town newspaper. Miss Volker does not write the average obit. She needs Jack to do the typing and delivery including the driving of her car (did I mention he is only 12?). But strange things are happening in Norvelt. They include the funeral director, a Hell's Angels' curse, Jack's friend Bunny, Girl Scout cookies, Eleanor Roosevelt, an old guy on a tricycle and maybe murder! You will gain some real perspective on how history might be the past, present and future all at the same time. Get ready to enjoy this excellent author's well deserved win. If you like this one your LTC has most of his novels in the fiction section. Jon Scieszka and Dave Barry love this book - two authors who know humor and great writing when they read it.