Friday, May 22, 2015

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

Bob Barnhart is not happy moving to a new town. He has three strikes against him: he's the new kid, the preacher's son, and a short twelve-year-old. But one thing that counts towards Bob is his neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel. At first he is caught off-guard by the feisty and tremendously busy ninety-year-old. Bob and his family soon learn to appreciate Mrs. Dowdel's hard work, wisdom, and secret charity.

Peck does it again, by resurrecting the character of Mrs. Dowdel from A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder. Like the books before it, this is another touching episodic narrative showcasing the dignity, endurance, and wit of Mrs. Dowdel's character. Through her actions, she teaches Bob important life-lessons about love, charity, and family. From these lessons, Bob develops the confidence he desperately needs in facing the challenges of adolescence. Peck's well-crafted writing is humorous and heart-warming as he describes the people and experiences Mrs. Dowdel thrusts into Bob's new world. A feel-good story great as a read-aloud to all ages.     

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