Study Guide

A Long Way from Chicago Writing Style

By Richard Peck

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Writing Style

Spinning a Yarn

Just like the tone of the story is 100 percent country charm, the writing style also backs up the setting in that it reads like someone telling an old family story. The style is honest and upfront, like you're hearing someone chat on a porch about their siblings and grandmother.

For example, when the second summer rolls around, Joey describes Mary Alice's reaction:

Mary Alice pitched a fit. It meant another week of summer vacation away from her friends, Beverly and Audrey. Besides, she said she wasn't over last year's visit yet. (2.2)

Instead of sugar-coating Mary Alice's reaction, he gives it to us straight, the way he experienced it. His little sister was bratty and threw a tantrum. That kind of honesty is pretty refreshing…and makes the stories come alive and feel more real.

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