Mort Ziff Is Not Dead

Mort Ziff Is Not Dead

3.71 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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A humorous coming-of-age middle-grade novel set in 1960s Florida. Battling obxious siblings, sunburns, and a corporate millionaire, Norman is determined to help an old comedian save his career. It's the winter of 1965. Norman Fishbein is enduring not only a cold winter but also the usual torments and annoyances from his two older brothers. When Norman wins a thousand dollars in the "Count-the-Doozy-Dots Contest" his parents let him choose how to spend it, strongly suggesting a new car is what the family needs. But Norman decides what his family really needs is their first vacation that doesn't mean camping in a tent--a trip to Miami Beach. A snowstorm almost wrecks their plans, but in the end Norman gets his first plane ride (with both brothers air-sick on either side of him). Miami strikes him as a paradise--warm weather, palm trees, beaches, and ocean. They stay in luxury at the Royal Palm Hotel, owned by the mysterious millionaire Herbert Spitzer. One day at the pool Norman spots an old man in a black suit, who his father tells him is a once-famous comedian named Mort Ziff. (Norman's father thought that Mort Ziff had died years ago.) Holding onto the remains of his career, Mort Ziff is performing every night in the hotel dining room. A chance meeting begins an unusual friendship between Norman and the old comedian. But after hearing that Mort Ziff has been fired, to be replaced by "The Centipedes," a pop group imitating the Beatles, Norman takes matters into his own hands, resolving to save Mort's job and in the process, coming to realize an innner strength he didn't know he had.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 169 pages
  • 145 x 208 x 18mm | 272g
  • Puffin Books
  • English
  • 0143198475
  • 9780143198475
  • 1,755,451

About Cary Fagan

CARY FAGAN is an award-winning author for children. His kids' books include Wolfie and Fly, Little Blue Chair, the popular Kaspar Snit novels, the two-volume Master Melville's Medicine Show, and the picture book Mr. Zinger's Hat, winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Award, as well as a TD Book Giveaway in Canada. He has also won the Jewish Book Award and been shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award (five times), the Rocky Mountain Book Award (twice), the Hackmatack Award (twice), the Norma Fleck Award, the Shining Willow Award, and others.
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Review quote

"Fagan delivers a witty, heartfelt character study complete with bullying siblings and sweet first crushes. . . . A wonderful read told with elegant simplicity." --Kirkus Reviews

"A quirky, understated, and dryly comedic story . . . Fagan manages to make gold, turning an old fashioned vacation adventure into something more subtle, even graceful. Highly recommended." --CM Magazine "This delightful story for middle-graders is a great romp through life in the 60s as its delightful young hero stretches his wings and learns that kindness has many rewards." --Historical Novel Society
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Rating details

28 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 32% (9)
4 25% (7)
3 29% (8)
2 11% (3)
1 4% (1)
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