I just finished Dead End in Novelt, and I loved it! This book received the 2012 Newbery. It also won the Scott O'Dell award for historical fiction. This novel is a fast-paced story full of interesting tidbits of history. The setting was small-town America (which reminded me of where I grew up). The characters were a bit quirky (eg: The main character's nose bleeds every time he is stressed--which is constant for a 12-year-old boy.).
I would highly recommend this book for students between fifth and eight grade. Both males and females would enjoy this book.
Jack Gantos, the author, has a great website--particularly for teachers. His site contains a teaching guide for this novel. Great springboard for activities and lessons. I would like to add this to our current curriculum. Locate site by clicking HERE.