Written By: Richard Peck
Penguin Group, USA
Ages: 12 and up.
I was first introduced to these books when I was very young, then again when I was about in the eighth grade. I had a physical science teacher that loved them. This story is just about fifteen year old Mary Alice when circumstances of the great depression force her to move and live with her Grandmother for a year. I don't want to give away too much of the book, so I'll just tell about a few of my favorite parts. One of my most favorite parts in the book is when Grandma needed Pecans to make pecan pie and she knew of and had an old crotechety neighbor that had a couple pecan trees. Grandma rammed his tractor right into the tree so all of the pecans would fall to the ground. This was because if she took the pecans from the ground because they'd fell "naturally" off the tree, then this wouldn't be stealing. My other favorite part of the book is the ending or the epilogue. Mary Alice is all grown up and she tells of her reporting job in the city and how her family is doing near the end of the world war and what they are all up to. Mary Alice is engaged and she goes to Grandma's house to get married, and so Grandma can give her away.
Who would benefit from reading this book?
Anyone who has or even hasn't read "A Long Way from Chicago" will love "A Year Down Yonder". If you like to laugh while reading, then this book is definitely for you. Grandma's antics will keep you rolling and yelling for more.
What problems do you see arising from reading this book?
Unless some particularly imaginative and mischevious children are bent on following Grandma's example with some of her crazy antics, then I don't see any problems arising.
What was your reaction?
I personally loved this book. I read it all together in a couple hours. It brought me back to junior high days when my earth science teacher used to read to us before the lesson.