Reviews for Year Down Yonder


AudioFile Reviews 2001 April/May
Winner of the 2001 Newbery Award, A Year Down Yonder is the charming companion to Peck's 1999 Newbery Honor winner, A Long Way from Chicago. This time, Mary Alice regales us with tales of life with Grandma Dowdel during a long year spent in Grandma's "hick town," where no one is as modern, as sophisticated, or as clever as Mary Alice is. However, Grandma Dowdel is every bit as snappish, quirky, and gruff as always. While the same wonderful storytelling quality infuses this volume, and Lois Smith's clearly middle-aged voice is very effective in reading Grandma's crusty dialogue, Mildred Burdick's surly sneer, and Miss Butler's teachery tones, it is a bit less effective for Mary Alice's youthful first-person narration. Nevertheless, the humor of Mary Alice's situation and her many scrapes with a cast of eccentric small-town characters are guaranteed to entertain. T.B. ¬ AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2001 #3
Winner of the 2001 Newbery Award, this companion to A Long Way from Chicago reprises the larger-than-life character of Grandma Dowdel through the eyes of her granddaughter, Mary Alice. Narrator Lois Smith's approach is most attuned to the narrative as wistful memoir, but the text's rollicking humor erupts with the explosive regularity of Grandma's shotgun-backed shenanigans. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Magazine

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 April
Gr 5-8-Richard Peck's Newbery Award-winner (Dial, 2000) is a multi-layered story of small town life spiced with humor, love, and a bit of history. Although 15-year-old Mary Alice Dowdel is none too happy when she must spend a year with Grandma Dowdel. It's 1937, and her parents are only able to afford a small room in Chicago, and her much-loved older brother, Joey, is off serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Mary Alice worries about fitting in at the two-room schoolhouse, and wonders how she'll cope with her crusty, sometimes embarrassingly eccentric grandmother. Harsh Depression era realities are not ignored, but listeners will spend most of their time laughing at the way Grandma outwits a classroom bully, some Halloween pranksters, and the local D.A.R. An itinerant artist, a risqué postmistress, and a community full of memorable characters provide more laughs. After twelve months, Mary Alice feels at home in this tiny Illinois town, and has developed a new respect and abiding affection for her maverick grandmother. Lois Smith's masterful comic timing has a country flair that conveys Peck's humorous and heartwarming book perfectly. This is a must buy for every library with audiobook collections. Even high school and adult audiences will enjoy A Year Down Yonder.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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