While this is a sequel to A Long Way from Chicago, it can easily be read and enjoyed on its own. Richard Peck writes the adventures of Mary Alice, spending a year away from her home in depression-era Chicago at her grandmother’s house in the country. While grandma is gruff and no-nonsense, she soon enlists Mary Alice in her schemes to influence neighbors—some who are friends, some who are enemies. This hilarious book is great to read aloud, and will leave both moms and daughters in stitches.
And here’s a review from reader Mia W. from Pragmatic Mom.com.
I have just discovered this Newbery Award-winning author and I have to say he’s an amazing story teller. A Year Down Yonder is the Newbery Award winning book, and it’s the sequel to A Long Way From Chicago. While this book is set in a small country bumpkin town during the Great Depression, it’s a hilarious story about fifteen-year-old Mary Alice who is sent to live with her Grandma for a year during the Great Depression while her parents get situated. Grandma Dowdel is a force to be reckoned with; her resourcefulness is matched by her heart of gold and Mary Alice’s year is filled with enough drama to fill a newspaper.
A Long Way from Chicago is from Mary Alice’s older brother’s perspective during their eight summers at Grandma Dowel’s farm and the antics they got into. It also gives a gentle history on how the Great Depression impacted their community.