Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Long Way from Chicago

Peck, Richard. (1998). A long way from Chicago. New York: Puffin.

A rollicking celebration of an eccentric grandmother and childhood memories. Set in the 1930s, the book follows Joe and Mary Alice Dowdel as they make their annual August trek to visit their grandmother who lives in a sleepy Illinois town somewhere between Chicago and St. Louis. A woman with plenty of moxie, she keeps to herself, a difficult task in this small community. However, Grandma Dowdel uses her wit and ability to tell whoppers to get the best of manipulative people or those who put on airs. (School Library Journal, 1998)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it reminded me of my childhood days of visiting my grandparents (they didn't have a gun or a corpse like Grandma Dowdel). The characters were full figured and easy to imagine as I read this book. Since this was my first chapter book by Richard Peck I can't wait to read the rest. This is a good book to be read outloud as the escapades are too funny to not share with others.

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