Study Guide

A Long Way from Chicago What's Up With the Title?

By Richard Peck

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What's Up With the Title?

A Long Way from Chicago sets up the reader for the idea that, although Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel are just going to another town in Illinois to visit their grandmother during the summers, they're also going somewhere that's culturally a lot different from their hometown of DeepDishPizzaVille—oops, we mean Chicago.

Grandma Dowdel lives out in the country, and when the kids come to stay with her, they're exposed to a completely different way of life. The town is close-knit and gossipy, the house is completely silent at night, and there's a lot more poverty. It's way different from the fast-paced, anonymous place that the kids are used to when they're at home in Chicago.

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