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Paperback A Long Way from Chicago Book

ISBN: 0141303522

ISBN13: 9780141303529

A Long Way from Chicago

(Book #1 in the A Long Way from Chicago Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A Newbery Honor Book A summer they'll never forget. Each summer Joey and his sister, Mary Alice--two city slickers from Chicago--visit Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town. Soon enough, they find that it's far from sleepy...and Grandma is far from your typical grandmother. From seeing their first corpse (and he isn't resting easy) to helping Grandma trespass, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry--all in one day--Joey...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Like fishing summer away

Caught like a huge perch that's how I felt before I got to the middle of the book.Children are sent out of the city to spend summers with their grandma.I will never forget how the words jumped into my head. Its sit across from me. Read it you might love it too. No book should have a age I was 60 when I read it.

Can't put this book down!

This book is so well written! From the first chapter to the last, you are transported to the past. To a time when things were slower, yet no less interesting. I love how the story is detailed, as if the events actually took place. The reader gets a feel of each character's personality, and can relate to many, if not all, of them. Wonderful book! A must read! I've read it several times, you won't want to put this down.

Took Me Home

I have to admit a certain attachment to this book. As a boy who grew up on one of those stops down the train line from Chicago, I felt a real connection to the story told in this book. Of course, unlike Joey, I didn't just spend the summers in the small Illinois town downstate. I lived my life there and didn't take the train upto Chicago until I was 17 and headed for college. Still, Peck has certainly caught the flavor of small town Illinois.The bulk of this book takes place over the summers from 1929 to 1935. And yet, it's amazing how much of those attitudes depicted in this novel still survive. My grandmother grew up during the Depression and much of the quirkiness and toughness balanced by family feeling shown in the character of Grandma Dowdel I remember in my own grandmother. That's what makes Grandma Dowdel such a wonderful and realistic character.And yet, there is also a glimpse of history here. Many things from the 1930's--some good and some bad--are gone now and it's fun to travel back in time through the pages of this book. I don't know if kids today are effected much by stories of the past. The flashiness of twenty-first century culture is stiff competition to a story no matter how well-told but I certainly enjoyed this book. The best "childrens' books" can be read and enjoyed by adults but I hope there are some younger readers out there who give this book a try. It will take you to a place that is sadly disappearing from the American landscape.

A One Woman Crime Wave

It seems that GrandMa Dowdel lives in her own little world. She apparently disdains contact with her neighbors and thinks them all to be 'horse's patooties'. Once you get to know her better, you learn that her worst enemy may in fact be her best friend. The way she cons and browbeats the town banker into coughing back up the house recently foreclosed upon, free and clear, well it must be read to be enjoyed fully. Each chapter, a week the kids are 'dumped on Gandma so Mom & Dad can go fishing', reveals another action packed adventure in the constantly turning mischief mill that is Grandma Dowdel's mind. I was given this book by my ten year old son after he finished it in record time, and I knocked it off in just one day. I cried at the end, as the boy, now a man heading off to war is on the troop train. He telegrammed his Depression-era Grandmother he would merely pass through without stopping, and after many delays, is treated to a heart warming experience I'll let author Richard Peck handle in his inimitable style.

I had a good cry at the end (and I'm a boy!)

A Long Way from Chicago is a touching and very funny book. The narrator, Joey Dowdel, shares the experiences of visiting his thrifty, hardworking, no-nonsense grandmother. Each chapter tells the adventures his sister and he have with his grandmother during each of seven week-long summer vacations. Long Way takes place during the Great Depression (1929-1935), so I learned some history while enjoying a great story. The coolest part of the book is when Grandma gets Joey a ride in an old biplane; the funniest is when the sheriff and his deputies drunkenly sing about Paddy Murphy while they're wearing only their underwear at the Rod and Gun Club. My favorite character was Grandma Dowdel because of her use of words and the way she loved people without saying it. I didn't pick out this book -- my mom chose it as one of our read-alouds -- but, like everything she picks out, this was really terrific. We shared a good cry at the end because we realized that Grandma is a lot "softer" than her tough words and actions showed. Happy reading!

Check it out!

I was skeptical at first as to whether I was going to read this book or not. It look all to familiar to the new over-glamoured novels that are just so-so reads in fancy covers. It was short, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to read in between school assignments over the weekend. After the first chapter, I could tell that this book was going to be really good. Somehow, Richard Peck had managed to give a new style to old charm, because the stories reminded me of some other authors writing styles, but with a new twist. The day after I finished, I went online to look for more of his books, in the hopes of finding another winner, and I think that even though other's of his will be good, A Long Way From Chicago will be his best.

"Everybody's private business is public property."

What a fun read! Peck presents 8 short tales which span several summers in rural Illinois during the Depression, when two kids make annual visits to their eccentric Grandmother. Narrated by the boy (two years old than his sister), these outrageous yarns create a wonderful atmosphere of wacky individualism and family bonding. It would be hard to find a literary granny as feisty, resourceful and fearless of authority as Grandma. Things are never dull when she stirs her stumps to create a mild uproar in that pompous little town. Her nefarious schemes range from a one-woman crime wave to appointing herself Champion of the helpless and downtrodden. Don't get on the wrong side of Mrs. Dowdel--if you value your reputation or your hide! Grandma remains undaunted and unflappable through bizarre but comical events. Peck's tongue-in cheek humor will bring many a chuckle as you are drawn into her slightly-shady activities. This book will delight kids of all ages--a winner, perfect for summer reading!
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