*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck

Title: A Year Down Yonder
Author: Richard Peck
Have I Read it Before: Yes

I must admit, I remember reading this book the first time around, but I cannot for the life of me remember if I liked it. Reading it for a second time, I wasn't very impressed. Mary Alice has spent summer's visiting her grandmother, but it's never been like this. Before, she and her brother would stay for the summer, but now she is moving to her grandmother's alone. It has become too difficult for her family to afford staying together during the Depression. Mary Alice is about to face many changes and challenges.
I wanted to like this book. I pretty much want to like all of the Newbery winners, but some of them prove to be difficult. It's so strange to me because the Newbery winner is supposed to be the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." There have been a couple of books I have read during this challenge that make me question if the winner really was the "most distinguished" of that year. It's probably good I get no say in the winners as I would probably be dragging my heels most years. But to get back on track...

I thought that A Year Down Yonder fell a little flat. The premise was good, but the plot didn't really keep me engaged and as I read I found that I wasn't that interested in the characters. Really, the only character that was interesting to me was Grandma. She was the perfect mix of sort of crazy yet often brilliant. Though she intrigued me, the rest of the novel just didn't do it for me. Save for this and A Long Way From Chicago (which I only read once and also don't really remember), I haven't read anything else by Richard Peck so it could be that these characters and this plot just didn't appeal to me. I am going to make it a point to seek out more by him so that I can give his writing a fair chance, but I'm fairly certain I won't be reading this book again.
Happy Reading!

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