In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.
Joey tries to keep his life from degenerating into total chaos when his mother sends him to be home-schooled with a hostile blind girl, his divorced parents cannot stop fighting, and his grandmother is dying of emphysema.
Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship.
"Bursting with practical tips and tricks, such as creating actual story-finding maps of your neighborhood, this book will help you build confidence and establish good writing habits as you learn to use a journal to snoop out plots full of action and emotion about yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your pets. As Jack shows you hot to shape your rough ideas, organize plots, and polish drafts to shiny perfection, he also shares...