Publisher's Note:  
Winner of the 2001 Newbery Honor Medal!

It was within the pages of Richard Peck's Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago that Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel first made their captivating debut. Now they're back for more astonishing, laugh-out-loud adventures when fifteen-year-old Mary Alice moves in with her spicy grandmother for the year. Expect moonlit schemes, romances both foiled and founded, and a whole parade of fools made to suffer in unusual (and always hilarious) ways.


Wise, exuberant, and slyly heartwarming, Mary Alice's story is a fully satisfying companion to the celebrated A Long Way from Chicago, which, in addition to receiving the Newbery Honor, was a National Book Award finalist, an ALA Notable Book, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

A Year Down Yonder

by Richard Peck

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Overall Review:  

I enjoyed this book even more than its predecessor (A Long Way From Chicago)! In A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck has brought back larger-than-life Grandma Dowdel for a whole year's worth of new adventures. This book was laugh-out-loud funny, hilariously madcap, and unexpectedly sweet. I found myself growing to love both Grandma Dowdel and Mary Alice more than ever, and I was genuinely sad when the book ended. Although this book does reference and build on some events from A Long Way From Chicago, it would still work great as a stand-alone for those who haven't read the prequel. A Year Down Yonder is highly recommended for anyone—child or adult—who enjoys historical fiction, great characters, a dash of romance, and hilarious storylines.


Though I should warn you—don't try to eat or drink while reading this book... the stories are funny enough that it could prove dangerous!

Content Analysis:  




Violence/Gore: A tornado destroys property (no casualties).


Sex/Nudity: Characters flirt; a boy puts his arm around a girl's shoulders. A very subtle reference is made to a teenage pregnancy. An artist attempts to paint a woman in the nude (no description is given, and the scene is hilariously funny).

Mature Subject Matter:  

Financial troubles.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character spikes the punch at a party (comprised of adults).

Reviewed By CindyB
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