Mort Ziff Is Not Dead

by Cary Fagan

Imprint: Puffin Canada

Format: Hardcover | 176 pages | ISBN 978-0143198475 | $18.99

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” he decides what his family really needs is their first vacation that doesn't mean camping in a tent — a trip to Miami Beach.

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. An unusual friendship begins between Norman, the old comedian, and a vacationing girl named Amy. After hearing that Mort Ziff has been fired, Norman and Amy take matters into their own hands.

“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