Weeds in Bloom by Robert Newton Peck
Autobiography of an Ordinary Man

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With over 65 books published, including the breathtaking (and somewhat autobiographical) A Day No Pigs Would Die, Robert Newton Peck has enjoyed an illustrious writing career. Now, in an autobiography as unique as he is, Peck tells his story through the people in his life. From his roots as a poor Vermont farmer’s son to his years as a soldier in World War II, from his time slogging away in a paper mill to his semi-retirement in Florida, Peck shows us people who too often go unseen and unheard–the country’s poor and uneducated.
“For decades, I’ve examined the autobiographies of my fellow authors. Bah! Many could have been titled And Then I Wrote . . . So instead of my life and lit, here is the unusual, a tarnished treasury of plain people who enriched me, taught me virtues, and helped me hold a mite of manhood. They’re not fancy folk, so please expect no long-stemmed roses from a florist. They are, instead, the unarranged flora that I’ve handpicked from God’s greenhouse . . . weeds in bloom.”

From the Hardcover edition.

About Robert Newton Peck

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Robert Newton Peck was born in Vermont on February 17, 1928. The son of hardworking rural people, he was raised on a farm and worked as a lumberjack, in a papermill, killing hogs, and as an advertising executive before the publication of his first book in 1973. He also served as a machine-gunner in the U.S. Army 88th Infantry Division between 1945 and 1947. He received a B.A. degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, in 1953, and studied law at Cornell University. A prolific writer of fiction for young people (Peck has written fifteen books in the last ten years), his work is rooted in the rural tradition of his boyhood. His first book, A Day No Pigs Would Die was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 1973. Soup and Me, his next book, was made into an ABC After School Special. Soup on Ice was honored with the Child Study Association of America children's book of the year citation in 1987. This book also received the Michigan Council of Teachers in 1984. Peck's book A Day No Pigs Would Die, has been banned by many libraries and schools because of its passage on pig breeding. Yet, despite the controversy the New York Times reported in 1998 that libraries everywhere are featuring special programs and exhibitions calling attention to the banning of books as a threat to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Peck directs the annual Writers Conference at Rollins College.
Published July 7, 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 226 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Peck defines his fascinating life with vignettes that describe the extraordinary, ordinary persons he’s encountered in boyhood, early manhood and in his later years.

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Publishers Weekly

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Peck fondly recalls the stoic, hard-working folks who molded his values when he was growing up poor in rural Vermont—family members (including his 110-year-old ["some claimed older"] Aunt Ida, who reputedly killed a "drunken half-crazed Saint Francis Indian....

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Teen Reads

(A humorous side note: Peck actually kept this same condom with him until well after his return from the Army, when he promptly buried the torn and ratty thing in the backyard as a tribute to his boyhood.) Part II: Early Manhood charts Peck's life in the army and the years immediately following h...

May 24 2005 | Read Full Review of Weeds in Bloom: Autobiography...


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