By Richard Peck
2000, Dial Books for Young Readers
When I made the list of books that I wanted to read for the A to Z Reading Challenge, I had no idea that two of them were related. I didn’t even realize I had two books by the same author. I read A Long Way from Chicago last weekend, and this week read the sequel A Year Down Yonder. While the first book was about Joey and his little sister Mary Alice on their summer visits with their grandma, the second is about Mary Alice alone. Here’s the summary from the book: “During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.”
I loved this book. It was just as good as the first set of stories, if not better. It has such a great feel to it. You wish the characters were real people and you could meet them and hear more stories about them. There was one story in particular that had me laughing so hard I had to set the book down to get control of myself. And then I got the giggles every time I thought about it. If you’re a fan of books like Holes by Louis Sachar you’ll really enjoy this one.