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Fair Weather Paperback – September 16, 2003

43 customer reviews

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Fair Weather + A Year Down Yonder + A Long Way From Chicago (Puffin Modern Classics)
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Editorial Reviews Review

Granddad emits a strangled sound, 13-year-old Rosie pitches right off her chair, and young Buster just vibrates. What event catapults the Beckett family into such a state? The arrival of a letter from distant Chicago--and not just a letter, an invitation from Mama's elusive, wealthy sister Aunt Euterpe. She decides that it's high time for the children to see the world beyond "the four walls of a one-room country schoolhouse." And what better opportunity than the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, to honor the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America? Spanish nobility, President Cleveland, and Ferris wheels, oh my! Richard Peck, Newbery Medal-winning author of A Year Down Yonder, paints a charming portrait of a 19th-century farming family turned upside down by a visit to the big city. Narrator Rosie is friendly and funny as she describes the instant (if not entirely successful) citification of her family, encounters with Buffalo Bill himself, and her own delightfully eccentric Granddad who named his horse after Lillian Russell (which is just fine until they meet her at the fair). This wonderful, witty glimpse into 19th-century America--sprinkled with historical photographs--concludes with an insightful essay on the Exposition. Heartily recommended. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After spinning two yarns about city kids having madcap adventures in the country (A Long Way From Chicago; A Year Down Yonder), Peck plays the flip side here, hilariously relating what happens when three farm children take on the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The narrator, 13-year-old Rosie Beckett, isn't quite sure what inspired her mother to allow Rosie and her two siblings to visit rich Aunt Euterpe in a "place with a million or so people, most of them criminals," but she suspects it has something to do with her wanting to separate Rosie's older sister, Lottie, from her suitor, "a drifter and probably a grifter." In any case, Lottie, Rosie and their younger brother, Buster, accompanied by their flamboyant grandfather, nearly burst with excitement as they embark on the biggest adventure of their lives. Peck fluidly works in the children's sense of awe as they observe the skyscrapers and the smooth surface of city roads. Meanwhile, the Becketts' boisterous spirits prove to be a little overwhelming for their widowed aunt (who still dresses in black after being a widow for four years). During the first 48 hours in Chicago, the Beckett clan manages to run off the household help and embarrass their aunt in front of some of Chicago's most prominent ladies. Luckily, things take a turn for the better, and later experiences riding a Ferris wheel, seeing Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and discovering Granddad Fuller is old pals with Buffalo Bill himself are as thrilling for Aunt Euterpe as for her less sophisticated kin. Peck's unforgettable characters, cunning dialogue and fast-paced action will keep readers of all ages in stitches as he captures a colorful chapter in American history. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0670 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (September 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142500348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439430340
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Peck has written over twenty novels, and in the process has become one of America's most highly respected writers for young adults. A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle graders as well as young adults for his mysteries and coming-of-age novels. He now lives in New York City. In addition to writing, he spends a great deal of time traveling around the country attending speaking engagements at conferences, schools and libraries...Mr. Peck has won a number of major awards for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award from School Library Journal, the National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award, and the 1991 Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi. Virtually every publication and association in the field of children s literature has recommended his books, including Mystery Writers of America which twice gave him their Edgar Allan Poe Award. Dial Books for Young Readers is honored to welcome Richard Peck to its list with Lost in Cyberspace and its sequel The Great Interactive Dream Machine...

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By BookBuzz on October 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Peck is the award-winning writer of more than twenty-five novels for young readers. "Fair Weather" deserves to be on Oprah's adult list as it would have great appeal to her core audience and Peck's writing is delicious. By no means do I want to suggest that this is solely a female's book. It's a terrific story to read aloud with the whole family.
It is 1893. Thirteen-year-old Rosie Beckett lives on a small farm in southern Illinois with her parents, grandpa, older sister, and younger brother. It's a rugged life of early morning chores and long days of work. It's a life without electricity or anything frivolous or luxurious. The children only wear shoes for special occasions. The Becketts have no complaints-it is the life they know. But everything changes when their aunt sends them train tickets and invites them to Chicago for a week to visit the World's Columbian Exposition. The trip is a whirlwind adventure of fact and fiction you won't want to miss.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Fair Weather by award winning author Richard Peck is a book that fiction readers and historians alike can enjoy. The reader can travel along with Rosie Beckett and her family to the World's Columbian Exposition through words and the quaint photos from the Chicago Historical Society.
I enjoyed this book for two reasons. First, Rosie was able to make me laugh with a humorous insight into her family life during their uxexpected travels. It was a constant treat to hear the musings of Granddad and I found Aunt Euterpe to be a character worth remembering due to her reserved hysteria. The other reason I enjoyed this book is the only reason I think some young readers might lost interest in this book. I found the history of the World's Columbian Exposition to be interesting and the photos fascinating, but it is possible that some young readers may yearn for more Beckett humor than historical information. The inclusion of Buffalo Bill and other characters was charming and added to the authentic feel of the book. I would have enjoyed even more photos!
Fair Weather is a definite read to be enjoyed and reflected upon both for a humor and history teaching value.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Black on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the same style and spirit of "A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO" AND "A YEAR DOWN UNDER", Peck's "FAIR WEATHER" begins slowly but bursts into bloom when the family finally arrives in Chicago.
The protagonist of Gramma in the first 2 books is transformed into a Grandpa; a Civil War veteran and former sidekick of William "Bill" Cody. His character is less dynamic but equally eccentric and appealing.
The story unfolds around a rural family's travel and visitation of the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893; for me, an obscure event that Peck deftly manages to bring back to life and not only glamorize but impress as to its significance. There the reader meets Bill Cody, notorious songstress Lillian Russel, the influence of Westinhouse, prominent, wealthy Chicagoans of the period, and an amazing, gargantuan ferris wheel whose cars held over 30 people. Historical photographs and a fine afterward compliment the time, setting, and artifacts. ...bedazzling!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on February 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When Buster and Rosie go with Grandad to visit Aunt Eurtepe in Chicago they know they are going to see a whole new world. After all, the World's fair is there, and Aunt Eurtepe is determined to expose her sister's childern to some culture. After all, she is the widow of a wealthy man, and on the fringes of society. The trip to Chicago is excitement enough, and the new world Buster and Rosie see is more than they could ever imagine. Aunt Eurtepe is not what they expected, she seems to be virtually a prisioner to her mourning and social aspirations, not to mention her ill tempered and incompetent house staff. Buster and Rosie set about to help out and in the process turn things upside down. And the fair, the Fair! There are acres and acres of food and exhibits and games of chance and things not to be inagined. Grandpa even lets them catch a glimpse of the notorious Little Egypt and her dance of the seven veils. For all their good intentions, things just seem to get mixed up, and it looks as if Buster and Rosie will have to return to the farm a disgrace. But Grandpa and his dog ,and a chance encounter with Buffalo Bill Cody may change things forever. A wonderful story that captures the flavor of the time and combines real facts with a wonderful family storyline. A book to read over and over again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JMack VINE VOICE on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After reading "A Year Down Yonder", "A Long Way from Chicago", and now "Fair Weather", it seems to me as though Richard Peck personally experienced late 19th Century and Early 20th Century Illinios and Chicago. The sense of realism is so vivd, one has to wonder if it is really fiction. While many are familiar with the darker side of the White City from Erik Larson's book, Richard Peck explores a lighter side in this book for young adults.

In "Fair Weather", Rosie lives a plain existence in southern Illinois. A seemingly bland life is interupted when a mysterious letter from Aunt Euterpe arrives and invites the family to Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition, also referred to as the White City. Rosie, older sister Lottie, younger brother Buster, and Grandpa make the journey to the big city. They find Aunt Euterpe still mourning, years after her husbands death. She is not as keen to enjoy all of the fair as the other for fear of perseptions of high society. Soon, the differences in the family melt away.

Peck's narrative catches the wonder of the fair as well as the scandalousness. The fiction is well blended with actual events and scenery of the event. Though the characters may not have as much depth as some of Peck's others, it is still a wonderful book.
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