Magazine article Montessori Life

A Long Way from Chicago

Magazine article Montessori Life

A Long Way from Chicago

Article excerpt

A Long Way from Chicago By Richard Peck New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1998 Paperback, $6.99 Ages 8+

Memories of summer vacation at your grandmother's house-fun times! However, Mary Alice and Joey's Grandma Dowell lived in a small town, where fun was not always the easiest thing to find. Each summer between 1932 and 1935, Joey and Mary Alice rode the train from Chicago to their grandmother's to spend a week. Those were hard economic times for everyone, and at Grandma's house there was no telephone, no car, and the privy was outside.

Grandma Dowell was no ordinary woman. For one thing, she kept Grandpa's "twelve-gauge double-barreled Winchester Model 21 behind the wood box in the kitchen," and she knew how to use it. Author Richard Peck masterfully unfolds the details of Grandma living up to her reputation through the eyes of her grandson Joey. The events are depicted so clearly that readers will smell the cheese Grandma carries in the gunnysack she made especially for their picnic and will cringe to see how she handles the snake that falls into the boat. …

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