Study Guide

A Year Down Yonder Prologue

By Richard Peck

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  • The narrator—Mary Alice Dowdel—is going to stay with her Grandma Dowdel in a small town because her parents don't have enough money for a bigger apartment that can fit the whole family (Mary Alice, her brother Joey, and their parents).
  • She has lived in Chicago her whole life, and is a teenager now. So she's super bummed to be going to the country, but the Great Depression and the recession of 1937 have really put her family in a tough spot.
  • Mary Alice's big brother, Joey, isn't going with her because he's a boy and has gotten a position with the Civilian Conservation Corps to plant trees out west.

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