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Richard Peck Books In Order

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Publication Order of Blossom Culp Books

The Ghost Belonged to Me (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghosts I Have Been (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of A Long Way from Chicago Books

A Long Way from Chicago (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Year Down Yonder (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Season of Gifts (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Lost in Cyberspace Books

Lost in Cyberspace (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Interactive Dream Machine (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Are You in the House Alone? (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Look and It Won't Hurt (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dreamland Lake (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Through a Brief Darkness (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Representing Super Doll (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monster Night at Grandma's House (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Secrets of the Shopping Mall (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Father Figure (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Amanda/Miranda (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Close Enough to Touch (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
New York Time (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Family of Women (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Remembering the Good Times (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Princess Ashley (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Those Summer Girls I Never Met (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Voices after Midnight (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unfinished Portrait of Jessica (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bel-Air Bambi and the Mall Rats (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Safe Place on Earth (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
London Holiday (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strays Like Us (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fair Weather (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The River Between Us (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Here Lies the Librarian (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
On the Wings of Heroes (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Three Quarters Dead (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Secrets at Sea (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Man (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Past Perfect, Present Tense (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Creative Word 2,: Teacher's Manual (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Creative Word (With: Geoffrey Summerfield,Stephen Tchudi,Patrick L. Courts,Paideia, inc., New York Staff) (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Urban Studies: A Research Paper Casebook (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Write a Tale of Terror (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anonymously Yours (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love and Death at the Mall (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invitations to the World: Teaching and Writing for the Young (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Master Class on Writing the Novel for Young Readers (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Mindscapes: Poems for the Real World(1923)Description / Buy at Amazon
Edge of Awareness: Twenty-Five Contemporary Essays(1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sounds and Silences(1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pictures That Storm Inside My Head: Poems For The Inner You(1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
From One Experience to Another(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dirty Laundry: Stories About Family Secrets(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Destination Unexpected: Short Stories(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Acting Out(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bites: Scary Stories to Sink Your Teeth Into / Bones: Terrifying Tales to Haunt Your Dreams(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bones: Terrifying Tales to Haunt Your Dreams(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Richard Peck is an award winning young adult novelist that is famously a winner of the Newberry Medal. He was born in Decatur, Illinois, which he believed was the epitome of Middle America. As a child, he was surrounded by elders of all ages as his mother was one of seven siblings while his grandma also had many sisters. Moreover, he got to enjoy the many tales told by his uncles, aunts, grandmother and the many men that gathered at the old gas station ran by his father. From his father, he learned the art form known as nostalgia and this combined with the many experiences growing up in the countryside made for a rich palette to write his stories. In his early childhood and teenage years, he grew up in a house that bordered an expansive park and he spent much of his time exploring the grounds. While he would spend much of his adult life in New York City, the sense of place he got from his childhood years remained as he has gone on to set most of his works in the Midwest. Another important person who helped cultivate his love for storytelling was his mother who read to him from a very young age.

During his senior year of high school, Richard Peck was challenged to master meeting deadlines, writing and rewriting and research by a tough English teacher. After graduation, he got a scholarship to Depauw University in Indiana, where he was to study to become a teacher. In his third year at Depauw, he was part of an exchange program and spent a year in Exeter University in England before he graduated with an English Literature degree. He then served in the US Army as chaplain’s assistant writing sermons and filing a variety of paper work, before he went to the Southern Illinois University to get his masters in English. He would then teach at Glenbrook North High School and Hunter College High School. He believes that his time in the classroom was the inspiration for many of his novels. He published “Don’t Look and It Won’t Hurt,” a novel about teenage pregnancy in 1972. The novel would later be adapted into “Gas Food Lodging” the 1992 film.

Richard Peck’s novels have received critical acclaim for their insights on death of loved ones, suicide, and rape. “A Long Way from Chicago” the first of the “A Long Way from Chicago” series was started as a series of short stories that he then expanded and made into a novel. It was in the novel that he first introduced Grandma Dowdel, one of the most popular of his characters. He also provides insights into the workings of the country town in which he was born and lived with his grandmother for most of his early years. The novel was a National Book Award finalist and paved the way for his career as an author. He now has more than 30 young adult novels and several titles for adults in the “Blossom Culp” and “Lost Cyberspace” series.

“A Long Way from Chicago” by Richard Peck is the story of Mary Alice and Joey who are always sent to live with Grandma Dowdel down in Illinois every summer. Over the years, Dowdel has the kids engage in all kinds of interesting adventures. They show up the snooty banker’s wife, help some star crossed lovers elope, and catch some criminals. Grandma Dowdel is not afraid of stealing someone’s boat or stretching the truth to achieve her goals. According to the sheriff, she is so bad that is a one woman crime wave. Indeed, even as she is old she is as tough as old boots and wants to rub off her toughness on the kids. After meeting them at the train station on their first visit, she no longer comes to meet them as she believes they ought to find their own way. But deep inside, she is an old softy and a very delightful character. Since the author grew up in the Midwest, it is clear that he got inspiration from his experiences to write the hysterical and historical work of fiction. Written from the perspective of Joey, we get a glimpse into the heroics of Grandma Dowdel who seeks to rid her town of bullies.

Richard Peck’s “A Year Down Yonder” is set in 1937, where many Americans learn that the Great Depression that they believed was over was not. More people are actually losing their jobs and getting eviction notices while others scrounge for food. Mary Alice’s family is also in dire straits and so when her brother decides to join the Civilian Conservation Corps; Mary Alice is set to head downstate where she is to live with Grandma Dowdel for a year. Mary Alice is just a teenager and hence she takes along with her a radio and cat on the bus to St Louis. But Mary Alice is heading to some small little town on the way to St Louis and not the big city. The story is told from the perspective of Mary Alice and shows Grandma Dowdel as a woman most people in town want to steer clear of. Most people in town look upon Mary Alice as rich city girl even though her outfits (most of which are threadbare) tell a different story. The story is a twelve month adventure as Grandma and Mary Alice spend some interesting times together. With some excellent characterization and descriptions of rural life, this is a story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Richard Peck’s “A Season of Gifts” is a novel set in 1958 where Grandma Dowdel just got some new neighbors. They are very poor people given that the man of the family is a Methodist pastor. They have three children Bob, Phyllis and Ruth Anne. Ruth Anne is very lost until she meets the inimitable Grandma Dowdel. Bob is a child that in remarkable fashion becomes a target for the local bullies hardly a day old in town. Phyllis his sister is obsessed with one of the bullies named Elvis who looks a lot like The King. Over twelve months, we get an insider look into the interactions between Grandma Dowdel and the new neighbors. She has always insisted that she is neither church going nor neighborly but always manages to be both. Unlike the previous novels where we experience Grandma Dowdel from the eyes of the children, this time it is from the perspective of the Methodist preacher and his family.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Richard Peck

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