Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
After being 'grounded for life', Jack is facing a summer of doing nothing. But who's got time to die of boredom when there are so many more interesting ways to die in this town? He might crash in his dad's homemade plane, or catch the disease that makes you dance yourself to death, or fall foul of the motorcycle gang that wants to burn the town to the ground. Old people seem to be dying faster than Miss Volker can write their obituaries, and Jack is starting to worry that it might not just be the rats that are eating the rat poison . . . Listen to a sample.