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A Year Down Yonder
Richard Peck
Medal - 2001




Chicago, Depression, grandparents, Illinois, train


A followup to the Newbery Honor book, A Long Way from Chicago, Mary Alice takes the train from Chicago to spend a year with her Grandma Dowdel. Set in 1937, 15-year-old Mary Alice and her Grandmother experience funny and exciting adventures in a small town in central Illinois.

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Author and Book Connections
Author Connection. Richard Peck has written over twenty books including: Strays Like Us, The Great Interactive Dream Machine, Lost in Cyberspace, Father Figure, The Ghost Belonged to Me , Ghost I Have Been, Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death, The Last Safe Place on Earth, A Long Way from Chicago, and Voices After Midnight.
Book Connections
Cool Classroom Connections
Railroad. Mary Alice went to the train station in Chicago and took the train to central Illinois. Imagine the train station and the train, then check out the images below. Learn more about railroads yesterday and today. What's the future of railroads?
CCC. Mary Alice's brother, Joey joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. Learn more about this organization as well as other Depression era projects. Find out if any of your area buildings or parks were created by the CCC.
Radio Days. At night, Mary Alice enjoyed listening to the radio. As you read the book, look for the names of the programs and people Mary Alice enjoyed on the radio. Learn more about these such as Kate Smith.

Cities vs Small Towns. Compare and contrast life in the city and country. Where do you live? Would you rather live in Chicago or a small town in Illinois. Why?

Grandma. The children spend summers with their grandmother. Read about Grandmothers. Write your own parent or grandparent poem. Read about Grandma Annie O'Neill. Write a story about an older person who is doing great work.
Depression. The first few stories took place during the depression. How did the depression effect the small town?
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Created by Annette Lamb, 10/01.

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