July 2, 2016
Candace Hardy (22 articles)

For the Tom Kitties; summer reading goodies for boys




I love a book about going to Grandma’s in the summer. Richard Peck’s A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO is just such a book. When you live in Chicago in 1929, at the time of Al Capone and Bugs Moran, you just might have seen it all. Joe and his sister Mary Alice aren’t so sure they’ll enjoy their summer with their larger than life Grandma. In the first place her house is in a tiny town, on the of the stops the Blue Bird makes between  the Dearborn station and St. Louis. With no indoor plumbing and a tomcat that jumps out at you every time you pass the cobhouse they aren’t sure there is going to be much to do other than wander uptown to the short block of brick buildings.

They arrive just in time for the scandal of notorious Shotgun Cheatham’s death; an event that brought reporters from the city. One in particular makes his way to Grandma’s house. Town gossip Effie Wilcox concocts a story about Shotgun Cheatham. To repeal Miss Wilcox’s story, Grandma has one of her own and is slightly shy of the truth.And caught up in her own lie, Shotgun Cheatham ends up being buried in Grandma’s front parlor.

Life with tough as nails Grandma Dowdel is anything but boring and A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO is a fast paced fun read for the mid-grade tom kitty in your life. 

Candace Hardy