A discussion for kids 9 to 12 Richard Peck is on a...

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October 04, 2001|By Tricia Bishop

A discussion for kids 9 to 12

Richard Peck is on a roll. His book A Long Way From Chicago -- about the exploits of feisty Grandma Dowdel and her two grandchildren -- won a 1999 Newbery Honor award. Its sequel, A Year Down Yonder, took the top honor this year: the Newbery Medal.

The staff at the North Carroll Branch Library in Greenmount asks kids 9 to 12 to read the second book and meet for a discussion of its themes and story lines Monday.

In the first book, which takes place during the first half of the 1930s, the trio's adventures are told through the voice of grandson Joey. But by book two, the year is 1937, and Joey is off working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. His 15-year-old sister, Mary Alice, takes over as narrator. And that's not all that's new: Mary Alice has to stay at her grandmother's house in a small Illinois town for a whole year rather than the usual summer week, and she has to sleep alone in the attic for the first time. She even has to switch schools.

But the toughest thing for Mary Alice is trying to keep up with her grandmother, whose adventures are far from those of your average granny.

Registration is required for the discussion. 6:45 p.m., 2255 Hanover Pike, 410-386-4480.

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