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A Year Down Yonder (Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2)
A Year Down Yonder - Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2
Author: Richard Peck, Steve Cieslawski (Illustrator)
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...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780803725188
ISBN-10: 0803725183
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 130
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 24 ratings
Publisher: Dial
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 1
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reviewed A Year Down Yonder (Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2) on + 216 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Newbery book - my sons and I all enjoyed. A terrific book to read aloud - entertaining and engaging for everyone.
Grandma Dowdel's back! She's just as feisty and terrifying and goodhearted as she was in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago, and every bit as funny. In the first book, a Newbery Honor winner, Grandma's rampages were seen through the eyes of her grandson Joey, who, with his sister, Mary Alice, was sent down from Chicago for a week every summer to visit. But now it's 1937 and Joey has gone off to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, while 15-year-old Mary Alice has to go stay with Grandma alone--for a whole year, maybe longer. From the very first moment when she arrives at the depot clutching her Philco portable radio and her cat, Bootsie, Mary Alice knows it won't be easy. And it's not. She has to sleep alone in the attic, attend a hick town school where in spite of her worn-out coat she's "the rich girl from Chicago," and be an accomplice in Grandma's outrageous schemes to run the town her own way--and do good while nobody's looking. But being Grandma's sidekick is always interesting, and by the end of the year, Mary Alice has grown to see the formidable love in the heart of her formidable Grandma.

Peck is at his best with these hilarious stories that rest solidly within the American literary tradition of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Teachers will cherish them as great read-alouds, and older teens will gain historical perspective from this lively picture of the depression years in small-town America. (Ages 12 and older)
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reviewed A Year Down Yonder (Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2) on + 3 more book reviews
I really enjoyed the first book (A Long Way from Chicago) and, frankly, I never expected this sequel to live up to its predecessor. Turns out Mary Alice Dowdel is even more interesting than her older brother Joey as she and Grandma Dowdel bond in a series of adventures that have to be read to be fully appreciated. A truly wonderful read from front to back and one of those rare books that makes you slow down toward the end so you can enjoy it as long as possible.