A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
A Novel in Stories (Newbery Honor Book)

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This Newbery Honor Winner and National Book Award Finalist is an unforgettable modern classic and features the debut of the larger-than-life Grandma Dowdel
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 Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back.
August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry
—all in one day.
And there's more, as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's—each one funnier than the year before—in self-contained chapters that readers can enjoy as short stories or take together for a rip-roaringly good novel. In the tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannery O'Connor, popular author Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining.   
Newbery Honor Winner
National Book Award Finalist
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book
New York Times Best Seller
“A rollicking celebration of an eccentric grandmother and childhood memories.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
“A novel that skillfully captures the nuances of small-town life […] Remarkable and fine.”—Kirkus (starred review)
“Fresh, warm and anything but ordinary.”—Publishers Weekly

About Richard Peck

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Richard Peck was born in Decatur, Illinois on April 5, 1934. He received a bachelor's degree in English from DePauw University in 1956. After college, he was drafted into the army and served as a soldier in Germany, ghost-writing sermons for chaplains. After the war, he became an English teacher, lecturing to middle school students in Illinois and New York City. While still teaching, he wrote a column on the architecture of historic neighborhoods for the New York Times and contributed articles to the Saturday Review of Literature and the Chicago Tribune as well as other magazines and newspapers. Peck quit teaching on May 2, 1971. He went home and started writing right away. He wrote his first novel, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt, and brought it to Holt, Rinehart and Winston (now Henry Holt). An editor called him on the following morning to say it had been accepted and they wanted a second novel. He has written more than 30 books for both adults and young adults. A Year down Yonder won the Newbery Medal in 2001 and Are You in the House Alone? won an Edgar Award. In 1990, Richard Peck received the MAE Award, a prestigious award sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with School Library Journal. His books have also received or been finalists for the National Book Award, ALA Notable Books, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
Published October 1, 2000 by Puffin. 176 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Long Way from Chicago

Kirkus Reviews

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In a novel that skillfully captures the nuances of small-town life, an elderly man reminisces about his annual trips from Chicago to his grandmother’s house in rural Illinois during the Depression.

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Publishers Weekly

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Although the narrator, Joey, and his younger sister, Mary Alice, live in the Windy city during the reign of Al Capone and Bugs Moran, most of their adventures occur ""a long way from Chicago,"" during their annual down-state visits with Grandma Dowdel.

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Common Sense Media

She convinces a nosy reporter that a dead old reprobate was really a Civil War hero, gets local delinquent bullies the comeuppance they deserve, outwits the local sheriff to help poor drifters, helps a young couple to elope, and arranges for her oldest adversary to keep her house when the bank wa...

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