|Plot Summary of A Long Way From Chicago|
|"Joey Dowdel and his sister Mary Alice are nitty-gritty Windy City kids---but they spend summers in a small town downstate with a grandmother who defies all conventional expectations of traditional grandmother-ing. Each chapter recounts the adventures of a different summer; this technique enables the reader to see Joey and Mary Alice grow up, while simultaneously chronicling the subtle historical changes that shape small-townlife over the course of 8 years.
Peck's narrative style is humorous, warm, and engaging---but he nonetheless manages to extract insights from oddball adventures. Grandma Dowdel hosts a funeral in her front parlor, outpranks the local hooligans, initiates a one-woman crime-wave by stealing the sheriff's rowboat to raid his illegal fish-trap, and bakes a blue-ribbon gooseberry pie that earns Joey a free plane ride at the county fair. Mary Alice helps two young lovers elope, smuggling them aboard an outbound train with Grandma's aid. When the bank threatens to foreclose on the house of Grandma's best friend (Effie Wilcox), Old Mrs. Dowdel comes to the rescue again---with the help of a little old-fashioned blackmail and some tomfoolery at a church rummage sale. At the Centennial Celebration in 1935, Mary Alice out-waltzes the talent show competition. These stories paint an endearing and enduring portrait of small-town America, while exploring the quirky love that binds grandmothers and grandchildren."
Tracie Amirante, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of A Long Way From Chicago|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Family, loving relations
Special relationship with
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Age 11-14
If story of urban/rural...
- Small town life
- a kid
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Very much smarter than other characters
- healthy but a geeky weakling
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 4 ()
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- dumb Rednecks, like Gomer Pyle
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Richard Peck Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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