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A Year Down Yonder Hardcover – Oct 1 2000
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Grandma Dowdel's back! She's just as feisty and terrifying and goodhearted as she was in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago, and every bit as funny. In the first book, a Newbery Honor winner, Grandma's rampages were seen through the eyes of her grandson Joey, who, with his sister, Mary Alice, was sent down from Chicago for a week every summer to visit. But now it's 1937 and Joey has gone off to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, while 15-year-old Mary Alice has to go stay with Grandma alone--for a whole year, maybe longer. From the very first moment when she arrives at the depot clutching her Philco portable radio and her cat, Bootsie, Mary Alice knows it won't be easy. And it's not. She has to sleep alone in the attic, attend a hick town school where in spite of her worn-out coat she's "the rich girl from Chicago," and be an accomplice in Grandma's outrageous schemes to run the town her own way--and do good while nobody's looking. But being Grandma's sidekick is always interesting, and by the end of the year, Mary Alice has grown to see the formidable love in the heart of her formidable Grandma.
Peck is at his best with these hilarious stories that rest solidly within the American literary tradition of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Teachers will cherish them as great read-alouds, and older teens will gain historical perspective from this lively picture of the depression years in small-town America. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell
From Publishers Weekly
In this hilarious and poignant sequel to A Long Way to Chicago, Peck once again shows that country life is anything but boring. Chicago-bred Mary Alice (who has previously weathered annual week-long visits with Grandma Dowdel) has been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother, while Joey heads west with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and her parents struggle to get back on their feet during the 1937 recession. Each season brings new adventures to 15-year-old Mary Alice as she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies. Around Halloween, for example, the woman, armed with wire, a railroad spike and a bucket of glue, outsmarts a gang of pranksters bent on upturning her privy. Later on, she proves just as apt at squeezing change out of the pockets of skinflints, putting prim and proper DAR ladies in their place and arranging an unlikely match between a schoolmarm and a WPA artist of nude models. Between antic capers, Peck reveals a marshmallow heart inside Grandma's rock-hard exterior and adroitly exposes the mutual, unspoken affection she shares with her granddaughter. Like Mary Alice, audience members will breathe a sigh of regret when the eventful year "down yonder" draws to a close. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I couldn't put this book down the first time I read it because the author writes about their adventures so vividly and exciting. Each trick they play on the town keeps the reader in suspense for the next clever and humorous adventures to come. This book is a laugh-out-loud kind of book so be prepared.
This book would be a great book for children to understand the struggles in forming a good relationship between Grandchildren and Grandparents.
Richard Peck turns Mary Alice's difficult situation into an amusing story with laugh-out-loud humor. Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel's sense of humor is expressed through their witty perception of the other characters. The reader is left in suspense wondering what kind of chaos this grandmother and granddaughter will create next. I highly recommend this Newbery Medal winning book to examine a different kind of relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.
I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who may have some sort of bad relationship with their grandparents. It shows its readers that many people do not take the time to actually get to know their grandparents. Grandparents are very important in one's life and no one should ever take them for granted. A Year Down Yonder depicts the true characteristics of grandparents: caring, protecting, and trusting. This book also keeps the reader interested. It tells of the many adventures that Mary Alice and Grandma went on and it also develops a lot of conflict throughout. Everyone enjoys a little conflict. Peck did an excellent job in developing his characters. The readers are able to create a picture in their minds of how each character may look. Even though this novel is considered a children's book, I would recommend it to readers of all ages. It will touch everyone's heart in a special way.
I would definately suggest this book to anyone that may have some sort of disliking towards their grandparents. It shows its readers that many people do not take the time to actually get to know their grandparents. Grandparents are very important in one's life and no one should ever take them for granted. A Year Down Yonder depicts the true characteristics of grandparents: caring, protecting, and trusting. This book also keeps the reader interested. It tells of the many adventures that Mary Alice and Grandma went on and it also developes a lot of conflict throughout. Everyone enjoys a little conflict. Peck did an excellent job in developing his characters. The readers are able to create a picture in their minds of how each character may look. Even though this novel is considered a children's book, I would recommend it to readers of all ages. It will touch everyone's heart in a special way.
Most recent customer reviews
This is for anyone who loves good, clean humour. Really funny!Published 18 months ago by Clean Jean
I liked the second book in this series even more than the first becuase it was funnier, catchier and the ending was very happy and nice! Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by DarLev
When Mary Alice goes to her Grandma Dowdel's run-down home in the middle-of-nowhere, she's expecting boredom from the moment she gets off the train until her parents somehow get... Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Kathryn Dunn
a year down yonder is one of the best books ive read. the first one a long way from chicago is about a girle and her brother go to there wacy grandmas house and have lots of fun... Read morePublished on March 4 2004
When Mary Alice has to go down to her grandma's house without Joey, she gets into some new adventures.
A Year Down Yonder is about a girl named Mary Alice and her grandma. Read more
Richard Peck's Newbery award book A Year Down Yonder is a great book. Its about a Chicago girl who moves to the country for the summer with her grandma. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004
In A Year Down Yonder a teenager named Mary Alice moves to the country from Chicago. She has to live with her Grandma who is known to like to use guns. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004
A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck, was a book about a grandmother and grandaughter's relationship during the Depression and how they survived and got food. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004
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