Friday, April 2, 2010

A Year Down Yonder

Peck, Richard. 2000. A Year Down Yonder. New York: Dial.

I admit that I don't "get" America's Heartland.  Other than a few trips to Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana, I usually think of the Midwest as something in between where I am and where I'm going.  So it was with great pleasure that on my recent vacation, I became acquainted with the rural Illinois of the Depression-era, and I fell in love with it!  Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel are two of the best characters in children's literature, and I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to find them.  If you haven't read A Year Down Yonder, you're missing a very funny and heartwarming (but never sappy) story.  Many reviews are available of this 2001 winner of the Newbery Medal winner.  (The original PW review nailed it.)

Now I can't wait to read its prequel, A Long Way from Chicago (downloading to my mp3 as I type), and Peck's latest, A Season of Gifts.

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