Derring-do in the Depression "A Long Way From Chicago...

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January 04, 2001|By Andrea Boston

Derring-do in the Depression

"A Long Way From Chicago" by Richard Peck, winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal, chronicles the offbeat summers Joey and his younger sister, Mary Alice, experience when they travel by train from Chicago to a small town in Illinois to visit their eccentric Grandma Dowdel. After helping her steal, trespass and outsmart authorities, the two soon realize that Grandma Dowdel isn't your ordinary grandma, and that this isn't your average small town.

Split into seven short stories spanning seven summers (from 1929 to 1935), the book illustrates the risky adventures of the two eager children and their one tough grandma, armed with a rifle securely by her side. The daring trio battles local thugs and breaks the rules to enforce justice in the town, and feed hungry families suffering from the hardships of the Great Depression.

On Tuesday, the East Columbia Branch Library invites mothers and their pre-teen daughters to its Go Girl! Mother-Daughter Book Club to discuss this award-winning story. 7 p.m., 6600 Cradlerock Way, 410-313-7700.

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