A Long Way From Chicago
Joey Dowdel and his sister Mary Alice are nitty-gritty Windy City kids---but they spend summers in a small town downstate with a grandmother who defies all conventional expectations of traditional grandmother-ing. Each chapter recounts the adventures of a different summer; this technique enables the reader to see Joey and Mary Alice grow up, while simultaneously chronicling the subtle historical changes that shape small-townlife over the course of 8 yea... A Year Down Yonder
The year is 1937, and the Great Depression has hit the Dowdel family hard. 15-year-old Mary Alice is sent downstate to live with Grandma Dowdel while her ma and pa eke out a meager living in Chicago. Mary Alice is less than thrilled with the arrangement. Grandma's hickville farming community couldn't be more different from Chicago if it tried, and the grandmother Mary Alice remembers from childhood is a multi-chinned no-nonsense country gal.