Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 5 - 12Grades 3 - 8W4.632011
One of children's literature's most memorable characters returns in this Christmastime companion to the Newbery Medal-winning A Year Down Yonder and Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago.

The eccentric, larger-than-life Grandma Dowdel is back in this heart-warming tale. Set 20 years after the events of A Year Down Yonder , it is now 1958 and a new family has moved in next door: a Methodist minister and his wife and kids. Soon Grandma Dowdel will work her particular brand of charm on all of them: ten-year-old Bob Barnhart, who is shy on courage in a town full of bullies; his two fascinating sisters; and even his parents, who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital.
As Christmas rolls around, the Barnhart family realizes that they’ve found a true home, and a neighbor who gives gifts that will last a lifetime.

“Pitch-perfect prose, laced with humor and poignancy, strong characterization and a clear development of the theme of gifts one person can offer make this one of Peck’s best novels yet—and that’s saying something.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“The type of down-home humor and vibrant characterizations Peck fans have come to adore re-emerge in full.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With a storyteller's sure tone, Peck has once again created a whole world in one small Illinois town, a place where the folksy wisdom and generosity of one gruff old woman can change lives.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
Booklist Editors’ Choice

Paperback, 208 pages
Published on October 14, 2010 by Puffin Books
ISBN-10: 0142417297
ISBN-13: 9780142417294
4 Book Reviews
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  • hamster111111
    hamster111111Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 12:41 pm
    This book is so heartwarming and really excellent to read during this holiday season.
    • gianna632
      gianna632Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11:35 am55 stars
      This book was really good. I can relate to the main character, Bob, because he has a younger sibling. Bob and his family just moved in to a shady town with gangs and rude neighbors. Just as they settle in, Bob gets bullied by a group of bad kids. His dad is a preacher and is trying to repair a abandoned church. As they get to know their very strange neighbor, she seems nicer than what people say. Bob's family learns not to judge people by the way they look, and that this town isn't as bad as they think. I recommend this book to people who love realistic fiction and Christmas books.
      • frostflower1964
        frostflower1964Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm
        i think this book is awesome
        • redflower1975
          redflower1975Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm44 stars
          i think the book is kinda crazy