42 pages 1 hour read

Richard Peck

A Long Way from Chicago

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1998

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Essay Topics


Which of the stories contained in A Long Way From Chicago had the most positive impact on you? The most negative impact? Why those stories? What about them stood out and elicited an emotional reaction? What can you learn from each story, and what does your reaction to these stories suggest about the role of emotions in storytelling?


In the Prologue, Joey says that his memories of summers with Grandma are getting truer as the years pass. What do you think Joey means by this? How can memories become more true or false over time? What does this statement say about how our memories change as we get older and more experienced?


Explore the messages A Long Way From Chicago offers about lying and manipulating the truth. Choose three instances in which Grandma misleads someone to get her desired results. Could Grandma have relied on the truth, rather than deception, in these situations? If so, how? Outline what she could have done. If not, why wouldn’t the truth have worked in these situations? Support your answer with evidence from the text.