On The Wings of Heroes

Updated: Nov 16

Do you have seasonal reading lists? Those special books that get you in the mood for the stretch of time ahead? I do. If you do, please let me know in the comments or by email what yours are.



As the autumn light wanes, and the final shadows of Veterans Day weekend closes out, I tuck myself into my favorite reflection books by Richard Peck. On The Wings of Heroes kicks off my holiday reading.


Davy Bowman’s dad looks forward to Halloween more than a kid, and Davy’s brother, Bill, flies B-17s. Davy adores these two heroes and tries his best to follow their lead, especially now. World War II has invaded Davy’s homefront boyhood. Bill has joined up, breaking their dad’s heart. It’s an intense, confusing time, and one that will spur Davy to grow up in a hurry. This is one of Richard Peck’s finest novels—a tender, unforgettable portrait of the World War II home front and a family’s enduring love. - Google Books

Following Veterans Day and in the run up to Thanksgiving. I fly through Mr. Peck's Grandma Dowdel series. Grandma Dowdel is a grandma for the ages. Sharp, quick witted, and mischievous, she runs the town as much as anyone. She also tugs at your heart.


Below are links and blurbs about them if you are interested in adding them to your collection. Most of all, I wish you a happy autumn reading season.




A Long Way from Chicago


What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice--two city slickers from Chicago--make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town?
August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn't resting easy.
August 1930: The Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back with a dead mouse and a bottle of milk.
August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma to trespass, pinch property, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry--all in one day.

A Year Down Yonder

Mary Alice's childhood summers in Grandma Dowdel's sleepy Illinois town were packed with enough drama to fill the double bill of any picture show. But now she is fifteen, and faces a whole long year with Grandma, a woman well known for shaking up her neighbors-and everyone else! All Mary Alice can know for certain is this: when trying to predict how life with Grandma might turn out . . . better not. This wry, delightful sequel to the Newbery Honor Book A Long Way from Chicago has already taken its place among the classics of children's literature.

A Season of Gifts

One of the most adored characters in children's literature is the eccentric, forceful, bighearted Grandma Dowdel, star of the Newbery Award-winning A Year Down Yonder and Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago. And it turns out that her story isn't over. It's now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Mrs. Dowdel: a minister and his wife and kids. Soon Mrs. Dowdel will work her particular brand of charm on all of them, and they will quickly discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital.

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