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A Long Way From Chicago

A Long Way From Chicago

A Novel in Stories

Book - 1998 | First edition
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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.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [1998]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1998
ISBN: 9780803722903
Call Number: j PECK
Characteristics: 148 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. (gr 5 - 8)

Grandma Dowdel is not a good influence--and that's one good reason why Joey likes visiting her. Each August, from 1929 to 1935, he and his younger sister travel by train from Al Capone's Chicago to spend a week with Grandma in her scrappy small Illinois town.
(4th -6th graders)

Each summer during the Great Depression, Joey and Mary Alice visit their outrageous grandmother in rural Illinois.

From the critics

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Edwamau May 19, 2020

This Newbery Honor title is a fun historical fiction read. Recommended for children ages 8-12 but adults would find it enjoyable too.

Feb 11, 2019

Great book for any age , you don't have to be a kid to enjoy the humor and antics , especially of Grandma Dowdell . What she doesn't think of that woman ! Just good heart warming stories of her and her Grandkid's escapades .

Lovestoread5 Jul 22, 2018

Fabulous writing, and i love Grandma. I wish there were more clever thinking people like her in the world. Mary Alice and Joe certainly learn a lot from her in so many ways; for example, compassion for others, not letting others get the best of you, sweet revenge, pranking, and lots more!

SPPL_Joey Jul 02, 2018

The first story, “Shotgun Cheatham’s Last Night Above Ground,” was stellar: funny, surprising, well-structured, well-written. The rest were all good too, but if you're just going to read one, make it the first.

DBRL_KrisA Dec 30, 2017

A pretty short book, basically a series of adventures that Joey and Mary Alice have with their grandmother in her small town. Reads like a collection of short stories, each one lasting only about ten pages. Grandma is a smart cookie, and she and the kids get the best of the no-good sheriff, the snooty banker's wife, and various other small-town villains.

jclterrib Feb 09, 2017

Truly a fan of the one and only Grandma Dowdel!

Jul 04, 2016

Great writing: prose is tight, language expressive, and lots of humor. Enjoyable even for an adult. History is referenced.

Sep 19, 2015

This book is really good! Richard Peck did a great job at making the characters come to life, especially with Grandma Dowdel. The good writing style and theme made this book a great read. Also, the ending was very emotional, or at least in my opinion (the very ending).

Nov 27, 2013


sassaman Sep 09, 2011

I it a very good book for kids. It is very informal about the characters which really made you feel like you are in the book which is great.

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sassaman Sep 09, 2011

sassaman thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

lms Apr 30, 2008

lms thinks this title is suitable for


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lms Apr 30, 2008

"A rollicking celebration of an eccentric grandmothers childhood memories. Set in the 1930s, the book follows Joe and Mary Alice Dowel as they make an annual August trek to visit their grandmother who lives in a sleepy Illnois town somewhere in Chicago and St. Louis.Grandma Dowel takes matters into her own hands to intimidate a banker who won't control his unruly sons, and forces the bank to rescind a foreclosure on an elderly house. Readers will be eager to join the Grandma, Joey, and Mary Alice on such escapades as preparing an impressive funeral for Cheatham, catching fish from a stolen boat and arranging the elopement of Vandalia Eubanks and Stibbs." (Novelist Reviews)


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