Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A long way from New York, too


Yesterday, one of our family's favorite authors was in town. Richard Peck, who wrote the hilarious A Long Way from Chicago, and the Newberry Medal winning A Year Down Yonder, spoke at our local library. He was also speaking that evening, as part of the local "Lit Fest". I wasn't able to get there very early, and was afraid of being crowded in the back. Instead, as you can see, if you check that first row of chairs, there was hardly anyone there. [Of course, the folks who were there really were somebody.] It made me sad, and a little embarrassed that our welcome was so weak. But Mr. Peck was charming, funny, and opinionated -- and had plenty of time to autograph the books I'd brought.

A Long Way from Chicago is one of our favorite books to listen to in the car. Its chapters can stand alone as short stories. My husband, especially, loves these stories. A few years ago, when he was coaching a DI team of 6th graders and they traveled to the national competition, he chose this book for a bedtime story. The first night, the kids responded with, "Oh Mr. H, we're too old for bedtime stories." But he made them listen to "Shotgun Cheatem's Last Night Above Ground."

The next night, they said, "Are you going to read that book to us again? Will you, please?"

What more can you ask from a kid's book?

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