Gloria's Reviews > A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
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's review
Jul 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Recommended to Gloria by: Teacher
Recommended for: Older children, younger teens
Read in October, 2007

This story’s grandma does not exactly fit the mold of the classic plump, white-haired, cookie-baking character used in other stories or commercial ads. Grandma Dowdel has a rather tough and leather-like persona that fascinates her two grandchildren each summer as they learn more and more about how she thinks.
Through these summer experiences, the reader learns about the Great Depression, small town America, and gets a glimpse of Chicago during its gangster-plagued years. More than history, however, our readers see that classic societal problems as well as classic character traits have always been with us.
Grandma doesn’t lecture these kids. Instead she shows them life’s realities and her special way of dealing with them. The problems include drunkenness and lewd behavior, child abuse, gossip, foreclosures, bullying and more. The positive characteristics include caring for the poor and the elderly, independence, self-reliance, and wisdom. Her sheer ordinary humanity is shown via the use of white lies, wit, patience, and hard work. Grandma seems to intuit the needs of others, but really she simply made a choice to listen and see, and not turn away from hardship.
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07/11/2016 marked as: read

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Wesley grandma?!(whoops)

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