Parents' Guide to

A Long Way from Chicago: a Novel in Stories

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

A hilarious look at summer in the country.

Book Richard Peck Humor 1998
A Long Way from Chicago: a Novel in Stories Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Heartwarming, funny for kids 8 and up along with their parents

We LOVE this book and have read/listened to it more than 5 times. My mother even bought it and it's sequel to listen to in her car on long trips. It makes us laugh and think about life as it used to be and the value of family. We often quote the book and remember the delightful characters in this story.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Richard Peck's comedy is his best since Bel Air Bambi and the Mall Rats. Filled with the kind of detail that can only come from memory, the book is blessed by Grandma Dowdel, a true original. Sharp-tongued and peppery, like so many of Peck's central characters, she reveals her heart to her grandchildren through action, not mawkish blather.

In a succession of summers she outwits the press, local hooligans, and the sheriff, all for the benefit of the town and its residents, whom she appears to despise. Her clever, no-nonsense approach to problems is wicked and original, though often mystifying to her grandchildren, and Peck's perfect blend of outrageous humor and unsentimental warmth make this a true rarity in comic novels -- one that is at once richly funny, memorable, and deeply satisfying.

Book Details

  • Author: Richard Peck
  • Genre: Humor
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Publication date: September 1, 1998
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 148
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate