A Long Way from Chicago
Author: Richard Peck
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Comedy and Humor, Historical Fiction
Manners and Conduct, Communities and Ways of Life, Grandparents and Grandchildren
Set during the years 1929–1942, and told in eight engaging episodes, this fresh and funny novel recounts a boy and his sister's annual summer trips to rural Illinois to visit their eccentric grandmother. Grandma Dowdel, a remarkable larger-than-life character, continually astounds her grandchildren with her nonconformist behavior and her gutsy, take-charge attitude.
What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice — two city slickers from Chicago — make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town?
August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn't resting easy.
August 1930: The Cowgilll boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back with a dead mouse and a bottle of milk.
August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma to trespass, pinch property, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry — all in one day.
And there's more — much more — as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's, each one funnier and more surprising than the year before.
In the grand storytelling tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannelly O'Connor, Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining. And year round, you are sure to enjoy your stay with them.