So lately our apartment has been wireless-less. We’ve had to content ourselves with checking our respective email’s at work and then left to wondering in the evening if we have in-box’s full of surprises and secrets. (Usually not.) But this morning we made a small trek to a cafe on Fremont and are currently reveling in wireless Internet out the yin yang, good coffee and a lemon poppy seed scone that is one of the best pastries I’ve ever had. ALL THIS TO SAY: I think that blogging as a general rule is a lot more romantic when you have to make an effort to make it happen. I didn’t get to just plop down on my couch, flip open my computer and pour forth insight and imagination into my blog. Oh no…I had to walk through cold and wind in order to make it to this Internet hot spot. With that said I all of the sudden feel the pressure for this particular book review to be really, really good because I’ve built it up so much. C’est la vie.
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck is the sequel to A Long Way From Chicago. I got pretty mad that a sequel was put on the Newbery list because come on! I don’t have time to be reading books off the list! (This is an exaggerated statement and a flat out lie. Especially considering that lately I’ve only been reading books off the Newbery list.) So, I did the daring thing and I read it without reading it’s predecessor. It actually wasn’t that confusing and I think it is perfectly capable of standing on its own.
Mary Alice, a young girl living with her family in Chicago, is sent to live with her Grandmother Dowdel, the character that makes this book so interesting. Her character is lively and unpredictable. She’s a crusty old lady with a soft heart. The chapters themselves read like their own short story and it seemed to me that each chapter revolved around a different holiday. I found it extremely entertaining and comical with the necessary parts of sentimentality that make good books good. I have yet to read the first one and I’m not entirely sure that I will. While I would recommend A Year Down Yonder I don’t think it makes my list of second reads. Some of the books on the list have stuck with me and I would love to read them again someday but others were good for the moment and that’s all. This one would fall under that category.