Study Guide

A Year Down Yonder The Home

By Richard Peck

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The Home

When Mary Alice first arrives at Grandma Dowdel's house in A Year Down Yonder, she feels far away from her Chicago roots and homesick. She doesn't feel like she'll ever settle in—even the house feels too quiet and dark for comfort at night, and her cat Bootsie strikes out independently instead of sticking close to Mary Alice. Traitor.

But over the course of the year, Mary Alice becomes more comfortable in Grandma Dowdel's house, and even starts to think of it as home. In fact, by the end of the book, that's where she chooses to have her wedding…even though Chicago would be more convenient.

Questions About The Home

  1. Why does Mary Alice get married at Grandma Dowdel's house instead of in Chicago?
  2. How does Mary Alice feel about her bedroom when she first arrives at Grandma Dowdel's house?
  3. Why isn't Mary Alice excited when her parents finally are able to move into a bigger apartment?

Chew on This

Despite her initial misgivings about going to live with Grandma Dowdel, Mary Alice comes to consider that small town as her real "home."

Mary Alice is a "city girl" at heart, and home for her will always be in Chicago.

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