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Book Review: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

What a great book. A wonderful little read. It is actually a childrens book, and this Richard Peck is a hell of a writer. He goes way back in his lifetime to the depression era, and chronicles his summers with Grandma. Every year for about 7 years he and his sister were sent to Grandma’s house in a one-horse jerkwater town completely opposite from their big city Chicago home. The adventures he lives through with his Grandma are amazing. It’s a slice of life thing with smiles throughout the narrative. Lessons are learned in a gentle and not so gentle way. We’ve all had this kind of experience…whether it was with Grandma and Grandpa or Uncle and Aunt.

Peck weaves each year with a different seminal event from each summer, as you get through the second summer you can’t wait for the third. Grandma becomes a hero in her own unique way. When the book begins, you aren’t sure the parents that send the kids to Grandma are doing the right thing, but after a few pages you see they are exactly where they should be, and the kids begin to realize it to, and after hating their summer trips in the beginning, they can’t wait for summer to come as they grow older. It’s a two or three hour read, and it is well worth it.

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