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A Long Way From Chicago (Puffin Modern…

A Long Way From Chicago (Puffin Modern Classics) (original 1998; edition 2004)

by Richard Peck (Author)

Series: Grandma Dowdel (Book 1)

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3,943852,287 (4.17)84
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.
Title:A Long Way From Chicago (Puffin Modern Classics)
Authors:Richard Peck (Author)
Info:Puffin Books (2004), Edition: First Printing, 148 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck (1998)


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» See also 84 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Joey and Mary Alice leave their home in Chicago to spend unforgettable summers of their childhood. Grandma isn't like anyone else they know and the small town she lives in is nothing like Chicago. This book is fun and funny with a big heart. ( )
  klnbennett | Oct 7, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel are sent to stay with their grandma for a week each summer. This isn't your typical grandma though, so the kids have a very unique time. This book takes place during the Great Depression, and each chapter spans a different year when the kids travel to see their grandma. As the book progresses, you witness how the kids come to depend on their grandma and each other. This is a very amusing and delightful book. ( )
  KristinaGr | Feb 13, 2020 |
This 1999 Newbery Honor Book is “a novel in stories” of humorous happenings during the week-long visits two Chicago children, Joey and Mary Alice, made to their Grandma Dowdel's rural Illinois home during the Depression years of 1929 through 1935.

I was born in the Chicago suburb where my dad grew up and my grandparents lived for many years, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins still live in that area. Some of my ancestors were from Springfield, Illinois. They owned a haberdashery and sold a hat to Abraham Lincoln, so the story where Grandma Dowdel tries to pass off a stovepipe hat from her attic as his rang true to me.

I found Grandma Dowdel to be the most interesting character. In his Newbery acceptance speech, Peck described Grandma Dowdel as “the American tall tale in a Lane Bryant dress. There’s more than a bit of Paul Bunyan about her, and a touch of the Native American trickster tradition; she may just be Kokopelli without the flute.”

In the December 2001/January 2002 issue of The Reading Teacher, Peck said she “is the great American tradition I came from. She is all of my great aunts, and while she is not much like my grandmother—except physically—all were imposing women…It was a matriarchy, and Grandma Dowdel represents that. Notice she is often cooking? To her, that is not a subservient role, that is feeding the world…Their kitchens were their temples.”

“Joey expresses his awe at the power of a mighty grandmother and, perhaps, of all women,” Peck says in the Newbery acceptance speech. “Mary Alice tells of finding in an unexpected place the role model for the rest of her life.”

This book could have been set in just about any rural small town in the country during 1929-1935. I think the humor in the book would be enjoyed by both boys and girls about age 9 and up (reading level is about grade 4.6-5.0). ( )
1 vote rdg301library | Oct 2, 2019 |
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For Judy and David Everson and to remember James Jones
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It was always August when we spent a week with our grandma.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

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