Questions and Answers for A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago, what does grandma tell Joe and Alice, as well as the reporter on how Shotgun got his...

During the wake for Shotgun Cheatham's in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago, Grandma makes up a story about how the dead man got his nickname "Shotgun". She says that he got his name in the...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2014 11:14 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, what are the Cowgill brothers like?  

In the story, the four Cowgill brothers are the sons of Mr. Cowgill, the dairy farmer. Although we don't know the names of the oldest three boys, we are provided the name of the youngest: Ernie...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 3:12 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, what is the true reason Shotgun Cheatham died penniless?

According to Grandma Dowdel, the true reason Shotgun Cheatham died penniless was because he was "an old reprobate" who failed to make something of himself while he was alive. He "lived poor and...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

List at least three of Grandma Dowdel's illegal actions in A Long Way From Chicago. What embarrasses Joey most about...

Grandma Dowdel commits a whole slew of illegal actions, but she does it for a good cause. She first steals a boat, which turns out to belong to Sheriff Dickerson. She then takes Joey and Mary...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2009 6:13 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is the problem and solution in the book a A Long Way from Chicago?

A prominent problem at the beginning of A Long Way from Chicago is that neither child really knows, understands, appreciates, or even wants to be with their Grandma Dowdel. They see their grandma...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2010 6:17 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way From Chicago, who is Effie Willcox?

Effie Wilcox is a local gossip and friends with Grandma Dowdel. When Mary Alice and Joey are telling Grandma Dowdel about gossip they've heard, they say they heard it from a "humped-over lady with...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2019 2:58 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In the book, 'A Long Way From Chicago,' why did Grandma lie to the reporters that Shotgun Cheatham was a Civil War hero?

It's in Grandma's character profile to spin yarns and stretch the truth. This is a little wicked pleasure she indulges in whenever possible, partly to test people's gullibility and reaction to her...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In the book A Long Way from Chicago, who was Mrs. L.J. Weidenbach?

Mrs. L.J. Weidenbach, the banker's wife, is a neighbor of Grandma Dowdel. She is a pompous lady, and each time she appears in the narrative, Grandma shrewdly tries to turn her lofty attitude to...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2009 8:33 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is the problem in 'A Long Way from Chicago?'

The story is a series of vignettes, each with its own small problem that needs to be solved depending on what is happening in the town that summer. But there are a couple of overarching conflicts...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2018 1:04 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Explain Mary Alice's character in the book A Long Way from Chicago. What is Mary Alice's personality like in the book?

Mary Alice is the younger sister of the narrator of the story, Joey McDowdell. She accompanies Joey on their yearly visits to their eccentric grandmother each summer, and, despite her age, is a...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2010 7:56 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, why don't Mr. and Mrs. Stubbs want their son to marry Vandelia?

Mr. and Mrs. Stubbs don't want their son to marry Vandelia Eubanks because they feel that the Eubanks family is socially inferior to their own; additionally, they also fear that Vandelia's mother...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 8:12 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Where does Grandma Dowdell live in A Long Way from Chicago?

I don't believe the town where Grandma Dowdell lives is actually named in the book. Joey describes going to her home on the train, "the Wabash Railroad's crack Blue Bird that left Dearborn Station...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2009 2:04 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, why does Effie Wilcox have to use Grandma's privy?

In Chapter Two, Effie Wilcox has to use Grandma's privy because her own has been destroyed by the Cowgill brothers. Accordingly, the morning after the Cowgill brothers blow up Grandma's mailbox,...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 6:47 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

When Grandma shot her gun while watching over the coffin, what did Joey do in A Long Way from Chicago?

Joey had been sitting "wedged in a corner, beginning to doze" at Shotgun Cheatham's wake when the commotion began. The gauze that hung down over the open coffin lid inexplicably began to move....

Latest answer posted October 28, 2009 7:09 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why did Grandma Dowdel shoot at the coffin when she saw Tom the cat?

Grandma Dowdel is a bit of a loose cannon, isn't she? I hope you're enjoying this book. It's one of my favorites! Grandma Dowdel is one of the most enjoyable (and ornery!) characters in adolescent...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2009 1:00 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is a brief description of the main character of "A Long Way from Chicago"?

There are actually three main characters in the story. Mary Alice and Joey Dowdel visit their Grandma Dowdel every summer, and the book is a coming-of-age story for the grandchildren. Each new...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2008 8:55 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In Chapter 1, I think it is, what happened to Grandma's mailbox in A Long Way from Chicago?

The incident about which you are asking actually occurs in the second chapter, entitled "The Mouse in the Milk." Grandma Dowdel's mailbox is "blown to smithereens" by a cherry bomb. It had been a...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2010 1:57 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, does Grandma Dowdel own a rowboat?  

The answer is no, Grandma Dowdel doesn't own a rowboat. In A One-Woman Crime Wave, Grandma Dowdel takes Joey and Mary Alice to Salt Creek, where the Piatt County Rod and Gun Club has some property....

Latest answer posted July 20, 2016 3:18 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why was the result of the pie contest a joke on Grandma Dowdel?

In the section of A Long Way from Chicago titled "The Day of Judgement," the joke is on Grandma Dowdel, because if she had not resorted to such a desperate measure as cheating at the county fair,...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2019 9:24 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In the book A Long Way From Chicago, what caused a commotion at Shotgun's wake?

When Shotgun is buried, a layer of gauze is attached to the outside of the open lid down the front of the coffin to provide a veil. He had not been very fresh when his body was discovered. A...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2017 1:16 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What are some facts about Mary Alice in A Long Way from Chicago?

From McDowell's narration, we realize that Mary Alice is a strong and charismatic young lady. Although she is only seven years old at the time, her character is displayed as a person with an...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why did Grandma go to all the trouble for Shotgun's wake and funeral?

Grandma Dowdel went to all the trouble for Shotgun's wake and funeral presumably for two reasons. First, she resented the intrusion of outsiders into town affairs, and the reporter's seemingly...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2016 2:20 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Did Grandma switch the pie cards so Rupert Pennypacker could win or because she thought she had a better chance to...

In A Long Way from Chicago, Rupert Pennypacker is supposedly the "best home-baker in the state of Illinois." Along with Grandma Dowdel, Rupert enters a gooseberry pie for the Fruit Pies and...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2016 8:44 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is the turning point in the story "A Long Way from Chicago"?

Since this is a book for young adults, intended to hold their interest, each chapter is episodic. That is to say, within each chapter, which represents the children's visits to their grandma's...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2008 9:15 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is the main problem in the book A Long Way from Chicago?

A Long Way from Chicago chronicles the adventures of two siblings and their Grandma Dowdel. Joey and Mary Alice, the city kids, are not pleased to spend their summers in Grandma's small town. They...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2018 6:04 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago, why was the celebration called the Centennial Celebration?

The term Centennial indicates a hundred, so it would make sense that the Centennial Celebration is a celebration to commemorate a hundred years. The billboard announcing the event says, "Welcome...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2010 12:34 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

How does Grandma get away with lying in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago?

In the story, Grandma Dowdel gets away with lying by using her age and life experience to her advantage. Throughout the book, Grandma often uses white lies to maneuver her way around difficulties....

Latest answer posted July 20, 2016 2:58 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What does Grandma catch with the cheese in A Long Way From Chicago?

Grandma catches catfish with the cheese. Grandma catches the catfish in traps, which are actually illegal in Illinois. Nonetheless, she has a series of traps set at various places along Salt...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2009 11:36 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, what story does Grandma tell regarding the phantom brakeman?

Grandma claims that the ghost of the brakeman still haunts the scene of his death years after his demise. According to Grandma, the brakeman died in 1871 when a train full of firefighters collided...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 6:26 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why did Grandma Dowdel take a smelly cheese to the creek in Richard Peck's novel A Long Way from Chicago?

In chapter 3, titled "A One-Woman Crime Wave--1931," of Richard Peck's novel A Long Way from Chicago, Grandma Dowdel puts some awful-smelling cheese into a gunnysack, cheese that "smelled bad...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2015 1:32 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, why does Aunt Mae Griswold answer Grandma’s questions with the wrong...

Aunt Mae Griswold answers Grandma's questions with the wrong answers because she is likely hard of hearing. We get an idea of her advanced age when Grandma Dowdel seeks out Aunt Mae and her...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 8:52 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What are some similarities between Grandma Dowdel and Mary Alice in A Long Ways from Chicago?

After numerous visits to her grandmother's rural southern Illinois home, Mary Alice becomes conspiratorial in her relationship with members of the local community. When Mary Alice and her brother...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2013 11:40 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why did grandma go to Uncle Griswold's place in A Long Way from Chicago?

Grandma Dowdel's small town is getting ready to celebrate its centenary, or hundredth anniversary. As one can imagine, this is quite a big deal, and lots of people are excited about such an...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2020 12:22 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is a summary of chapter 1?

Chapter 1: Shotgun Cheatham's Last Night Above Ground. In the book, the narrator, Joey Dowdel, tells stories about his childhood, summer adventures at his grandmother's. In the summer of 1929, Joey...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2016 10:35 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, what two things upset the women about the president's choice of wife?

In the book, the women are upset that President Roosevelt's wife is plain-looking and that he is related to his wife (Eleanor is the president's fifth cousin). One summer's day, Joey and Mary Alice...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 7:40 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Is there an onomatopoeia used in the novel "A Long Way from Chicago", and if so what chapter is it located?

Several examples of onomatopoeia can be found in the novel, A Long Way from Chicago, by Richard Peck. An onomatopoeia is when a word sounds like what it is. For example, on page 7, in the...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2015 2:26 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

How might the Great Depression have influenced the characters in Chapter 1 of A Long Way from Chicago?

The Great Depression might have influenced the lives of the characters in a number of ways. One way is in the living conditions of the people in the little Illinois town where Grandma Dowdel lives....

Latest answer posted June 24, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why does Joey think Shotgun Cheatham's death does not go unnoticed in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago?

Joey thinks Shotgun Cheatham's name is too provocative to inspire anonymity. Therefore, his death doesn't go unnoticed because of it. The newspapers hadn't initially wanted to publish an obituary...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2016 2:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Long Way from Chicago

What is  a cob house? I thought it was where feed was kept, like in "corn cobs."

You're thinking of a corn crib. A cob house is an ancient form of dwelling made of clay, sand, and straw. I've pasted below some links to web sites where you can see pictures and read more about...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2008 8:11 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Who are the main characters in the chapter “The Phantom Brakeman—1933” in A Long Way from Chicago?

“The Phantom Brakeman—1933,” chapter 5 of A Long Way from Chicago, has many of the same main characters as the rest of the novel. The protagonists are Joe and Mary Alice Dowdel, who are spending...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2020 1:04 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago, what grade did Grandma say that 16-year old Ernie Cowgill was in?

Grandma says that sixteen-year old Ernie Cowgill is still in the fourth grade. Grandma has a propensity to exaggerate, so whether the hapless Ernie Cowgill is really still in the fourth grade or...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2009 7:28 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In "A Long Way from Chicago", what are the specific items inside the trunk that is located in an attic? *

Joey and Mary Alice found Grandma Dowdel's wedding dress and Grandpa Dowdel's wedding suit, a stovepipe hat, and an old, tattered quilt. They also find old valentines that Grandma and Grandpa...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Long Way from Chicago

Why does Aunt Mae Griswold answer Grandma's questions with the wrong answers in "A Long Way From Chicago"?...

Aunt Mae Griswold answers Grandma's questions incorrectly because she has difficulties hearing!Although her exact age is not given, Aunt Mae is the wife of Uncle Grady Griswold, who is a hundred...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2008 6:56 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

Why does the town play along with the lies Grandma Dowdel tells about Shotgun Cheatham in A Long Way from Chicago?

Good question! I think there are a number of possibilities. Grandma Dowdel commands respect. She also intrigues people. When the body is laid out in the front room, people can't help but be curious...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2009 6:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Long Way from Chicago

What did Joe and Mary Alice take home with them on the train in A Long Way from Chicago?

In A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck siblings Joey and Mary Alice take the Wabash Railroad Crack Blue Bird train to visit their grandmother, the very eccentric Grandma Dowdel, in the country...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2014 1:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Long Way from Chicago

Explain why the artist chose this illustration for the cover to his novel A Long Way From Chicago.

The cover of Richard Peck's novel A Long Way From Chicago shows a boy with a man in plane and an older woman holding the hand of a young girl under the flying plane. One can easily assume that the...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2012 7:17 am UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

What is the structure of chapter three of A Long Way from Chicago?

In the novel A Long Way From Chicago, Richard Peck chronicles seven summers (between 1929 and 1942) that Chicago kids Joey and his sister Mary Alice spend with their grandmother in rural Illinois....

Latest answer posted March 19, 2020 8:23 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In the book "A Long Way from Chicago", do you think Grandma agrees with two wrongs making a right?

Grandma apparently does agree that two wrongs can make a right. Throughout the book she has no problem lying, cheating, and even blackmailing people to get what she wants. However, since her...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

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A Long Way from Chicago

In A Long Way from Chicago, who shows up at the Coffee Pot Café asking questions?

The Coffee Pot Café is a place where local people come to hang out and engage in gossip. Grandma Dowdel, however, isn't one of them. She likes to keep herself to herself, which is all but...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2020 12:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Long Way from Chicago

I was reading this book and never got what the lesson of the book was? I also could not find the main choice the...

In the novel "A Long Way from Chicago," Joey and Mary Alice make the train trip to a small town every summer, in August, for seven years, for a week's visit with Grandma Dowdel. The Depression era...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2009 8:25 am UTC

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