Grandma Dowdel's back! She's just as feisty and terrifying and goodhearted as she was in
Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago, and every bit as funny. In the first book, a
Newbery Honor winner, Grandma's rampages were seen through the eyes of her grandson Joey, who,
with his sister, Mary Alice, was sent down from Chicago for a week every summer to visit.
But now it's 1937 and Joey has gone off to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, while
15-year-old Mary Alice has to go stay with Grandma alone--for a whole year, maybe longer.
From the very first moment when she arrives at the depot clutching her Philco portable
radio and her cat, Bootsie, Mary Alice knows it won't be easy. And it's not.
Mary Alice has to sleep alone in the attic, attend a hick town school where in spite of
her worn-out coat she's "the rich girl from Chicago," and be an accomplice in
Grandma's outrageous schemes to run the town her own way--and do good while nobody's
looking. But being Grandma's sidekick is always interesting, and by the end of the year,
Mary Alice has grown to see the formidable love in the heart of her formidable Grandma.
Peck is at his best with these hilarious stories that rest solidly within the
American literary tradition of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Teachers will cherish them as
great read-alouds, and older teens will gain historical perspective from this lively
picture of the depression years in small-town America.