Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

A Long Way from Chicago is a novel told in stories. Joey is nine when he and his sister, Mary Alice, begin visiting their Grandma in rural Illinois each summer. Their visits begin in 1929 and end in 1935. Grandma is an eccentric character, living on the edge of town, who takes matters into her own hands.

Each story is something of a tall tale. While Joey and Mary Alice are from “the big city” where Al Capone and Public Enemy Number one, John Dillinger, hang out, more often than naught, the kids are more scared of the bizarre adventures grandma takes them on than anything they knew in Chicago. The Depression is raging and they occasionally bump shoulders with drifters and poverty. Grandma’s questionable methods of doing good thrust Joey and Mary Alice into uncomfortable but funny situations.

Joey’s grandma reminded me much of my own grandma with her frugal ways and crisp manner. Grandma was tough but her chocolate chip cookies said I love you. If you’re looking to feel nostalgic about grandparents or would like to share fun stories with your kids then this book may be for you. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Publisher: Dial, 1998     Pages: 192
Rating: 5  Stars   Source: Purchased Copy


  1. I really enjoyed this book when it came out. You made me want to read it again. I particularly liked the fact that it's in rural Illinois, since that's exactly where I live....


  2. Thanks for the review. I always envied children who visited grandparents, mine lived with us.