Back Then Book Review Day

It took the girls longer than I thought it would to get a solid grasp of chronological terms.  Now, however, they have a very specific list of terms that refer to their perception of time past.  When I was a child?  Back Then.

Today, I am employing the sociopathological lawlessness I’m known for and abusing the term.

Today, ‘back then’ means when they were little(10) and we did a lot more read aloud than is strictly called for for educating big kids.

We checked out a Newbery Award winning book from the church library.

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck was a fun read-aloud for 10 year-olds.


I laughed until tears streamed down my face and I had to blow my nose.

In the middle of the Great Depression, a young girl is sent from Chicago to live with her grandmother in a rural community.

Having come from small town people and having personally benefited from the influence of grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, I was reduced to uncontrollable laughter more than once.

Peck turns an elegant country phrase.  Sees through the eyes of a man his father’s age.  Or his mother’s.

One taste and we were hooked.  We ran through all the titles except one in the church library and moved on to the Public Library.  In the research for this post, I found a number of titles the public library had never heard of.  I’m excited to research those online and at the used bookstore.

Our favorites include:

A Long Way From Chicago

The Teacher’s Funeral: a Comedy In Three Parts

Fair Weather


A Season of Gifts

We tried an audio book, but agreed that I’m funnier.

It turns out that Peck is not limited to this gentle hilarity, but writes ghost stories and novels dealing with modern life issues young people face. Which we’ll be checking out this afternoon at the library and the used book store.

I urge you to include the titles we’ve enjoyed in your family read-aloud time, or even just your personal recreational reading.  It’s a refreshing break from the heaviness and the self-consciousness of a lot of contemporary adult fiction.

In researching this post, I ran across a Goodreads account I had pretty much ignored for…awhile.  If you aren’t familiar with Good Reads it’s like a giant online baseball card collection only with books.  I have updated a couple of things and would love to connect with you there if anyone’s interested.

While I was thinking of that, I remembered this blog has a Facebook fan page and I nearly gave myself a cardiac event trying to create the widget.  I will try again when I am not administering cultural lockdown on 15 year-olds (YES, IT STILL HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS THEM.)  I beg invite you to “like” the page, if you aren’t going to let facebo*ks widget keep you from liking old ladies’ lame-a** blogs if you want to.

While we’re at it….  you can dig “the accident” on Twit*er. For free, mind you.

I digress.

There are still a couple of weeks of summer left.  That calls for some lazy afternoons.  That calls for a great book.  These are that.

I you’re embarrassed to check them out, say it’s for your niece.



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