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Richard Peck is a master of stories about people in transition, but perhaps never before has he told a tale of such dramatic change as this one, set during the first year of the Civil War. The whole country is changing in 1861-even the folks from a muddy little Illinois settlement on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, fifteen-year-old Tilly Pruitt frets over the fact that her brother is dreaming of being a soldier and that her sister is prone to supernatural visions. A boy named Curry could possibly become a distraction.
Then a steamboat whistle splits the air. The Rob Roy from New Orleans docks at the landing, and off the boat step two remarkable figures: a vibrant, commanding young lady in a rustling hoop skirt and a darker, silent woman in a plain cloak, with a bandanna wrapped around her head. Who are these two fascinating strangers? And is the darker woman a slave, standing now on the free…[more]
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 rollicking 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.
It was within the pages of Richard Peck’s Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago that Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel first made their captivating debut. Now they’re back for more astonishing, laugh-out-loud adventures when fifteen-year-old Mary Alice moves in with her spicy grandmother for the year. Expect moonlit schemes, romances both foiled and founded, and a whole parade of fools made to suffer in unusual (and always hilarious) ways.
Wise, exuberant, and slyly heartwarming, Mary Alice’s story is a fully satisfying companion to the celebrated A Long Way from Chicago, which, in addition to receiving the Newbery Honor, was a National Book Award finalist, an ALA Notable Book, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
“Forget it,” Alison counseled. “It never happened.” But it was happening. The obscene notes. “Stop reading that garbage!” Alison shrieked and grabbed the neatly lettered page from Gail’s frozen hands. And whenever Gail was alone, the phone rang and went dead as soon as she answered it. As her world shaded into a nightmare, Gail, surrounded by friends, family, and teachers, found herself utterly alone.
Then one evening her nightmare became fact when she learned an even more tragic truth; in spite of violence and degradation, she was still alone, the victim of a crime that punished the innocent and let the criminal go free.
“If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of year for it,” begins Richard Peck’s latest novel, a book full of his signature wit and sass. Russell Culver is fifteen in 1904, and he’s raring to leave his tiny Indiana farm town for the endless sky of the Dakotas. To him, school has been nothing but a chain holding him back from his dreams. Maybe now that his teacher has passed on, they’ll shut the school down entirely and leave him free to roam.
No such luck. Russell has a particularly eventful season of schooling ahead of him, led by a teacher he never could have predicted—perhaps the only teacher equipped to control the likes of him: his sister Tansy. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and more than any classroom’s share of snakes, Tansy will manage to keep that school alive and maybe, just maybe, set her brother on a new, wiser course. …[more]
Thirteen-year-old Rosie Beckett has never strayed further from her family’s farm than a horse can pull a cart. Then a letter from Aunt Euterpe arrives, and everything changes. It’s 1893, the year of the World’s Columbian Exposition—the “wonder of the age”—otherwise known as the Chicago World’s Fair. Tucked inside the pages of the letter are train tickets to Chicago, because Aunt Euterpe is inviting the Becketts to come for a visit and go to the fair! For Rosie, it’s a summer of marvels—a summer she’ll never forget.