Meredith Trotter's Reviews > A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
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's review
Jul 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemp-real-fict
Read in July, 2012

Publication: 1998

Grade/Age: Grades 4-8

Annotation: Every summer Joey and his sister, Mary Alice, spend a week with their larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois during the 1930s.

Themes: Coming of age, the Great Depression, country life, humor,

Ways to use the book:

Social Studies - Have students make a timeline of national events that occurred between 1929 and 1935. Then have each student select one of the events to research in detail. How did the events of the nation during this time affect life in Grandma Dowdel's small Illinois town?

Language Arts - The reader sees Grandma Dowdel through Joey Dowdel's eyes. Discuss how a reader's impression of a character is shaped by point-of-view. Ask students to select another character in the novel (i.e. Effie Wilcox, Mr. Cowgill, Sheriff Dickerson, Vandalia Eubanks, or Junior Stubbs) and write a brief description of Grandma through that person's eyes.

Math - Few people could afford cars in 1929, but the banker in Grandma Dowdel's town, L.J. Weidenbach, drives a Hupmobile. Find out the cost and the special features of a 1929 Hupmobile. Make a plan for financing the car for a three-year period. Determine an appropriate interest rate, and calculate the total cost including interest. What are the monthly payments?


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