Friday, May 04, 2007

Favorite Family Author -- Richard Peck

I just finished a great book that my Mom loaned to me, On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck. It chronicles the life of young Davy Boman, his friend Scooter and the Boman family before and during World War II. I was sad to reach the final page and have the story end. In fact, that’s how I gauge all the books I read. If I’ve loved the book so much that I don’t want it to end, it goes into my list of all-time favorites.

Looking back through my book journal recently, I noticed that Richard Peck books are almost always part of my all-time favorites. And the fun part is, they are books our whole family enjoys reading.

When our children were a bit younger we used to choose a book to read aloud as a family before bedtime. Even though there weren’t pictures to look at, we found that our kids rarely wanted to stop at just one chapter. It could be that they wanted to extend their bedtime, but mostly I think they were drawn into great stories. If you’ve been looking for some books that are great to read aloud to your kids, here are some great ones by Richard Peck.

A Long Way from Chicago: Readers of all ages can relate to this book. Our kids were aghast at the antics of the grandma in this story. I also loaned it to my own grandmother, and she found it to be deliciously funny. A neighbor of mine used to work for an adult daycare center. She read it to the folks there. They couldn’t get enough of it! It really is a must-not-miss book!

A Year Down Yonder: This is the follow up book to A Long Way from Chicago. Same great characters but with a year’s worth of antics. We read it as a family and loved it so much that most of us re-read it on our own.

Fair Weather: The story of a farm family during the Depression and their trip to the World’s Fair. (The grandpa in this tale is a scream!)

The Teacher’s Funeral: Russell Culver, a young farm boy living in the early 1900s, goes to a one-room school with the rest of his community. When their old teacher dies, he’s mortified to find that his sister, Tansy, takes her place. This book even adds a little romance and kept me guessing as to which suitor Tansy would end up with. A great read to get a taste of what school and life were like near the turn of the last century.

Here Lies the Librarian: Jake and PeeWee run a small garage in a small town at the start of the automobile age. This tale chronicles how the town library is brought back to life by four college educated librarians from Indianapolis. I can’t give it away, but there’s a big community stock car race and Jake and PeeWee enter a car. Let me just say that you’ll be surprised by the outcome.

So there you have it – five great reads for families. If you have other stories that your family enjoys reading, I’d love to hear about them.

1 comment:

scienceteachermommy said...

My book club did "The River Between Us" by Richard Peck just a couple of months ago. It was great. A wonderful follow up to it this month was "Wolf By The Ears" by Ann Rand I think. Lots of interesting early-American slavery issues are brought to light by both books and the research is excellent.