Books by Richard Peck

THE MOUSE WITH THE QUESTION MARK TAIL by Richard Peck
Released: July 2, 2013

"This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)"
Peck returns to the parallel mouse society he introduced in the effervescent Secrets at Sea (2011) for a rodent's-eye view of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Read full book review >
SECRETS AT SEA by Richard Peck
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2011

"Sheer delight. (final art not seen) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)"
Problem novels, ghost stories, historical fiction—is there anything Newbery Medalist Peck cannot do? Apparently not. Read full book review >
THREE QUARTERS DEAD by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 28, 2010

"Probably more for fans of Cecily Von Ziegesar than Lois Duncan. (Horror. 12 & up)"
Self-described follower Kerry ("I was always a step behind. I lived back there") finds herself in over her head when she is unexpectedly adopted by the three coolest girls in school. Read full book review >
A SEASON OF GIFTS by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

According to 12-year-old Bob, "We Barnharts had moved in next door to a haunted house, if a house can be haunted by a living being." Read full book review >

ON THE WINGS OF HEROES by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2007

It always seemed to be summer in Davy Bowman's Illinois town; his street was his world. Read full book review >

HERE LIES THE LIBRARIAN by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2006

"Who'd want to be in the pit crew when you could be in the race?" asks Irene Ridpath, the new librarian at14-year-old Eleanor McGrath's school. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it," 15-year-old Russell Culver says, hoping the miracle of his teacher's death will mean his one-room school will close. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: April 1, 2004

Divided into sections—stories set in the past, stories with a supernatural element, and stories set in the present—this collection of new and old tales from Newbery Award-winner Peck also includes his first short story, Priscilla and the Wimps, as well as commentary and advice about writing. Read full book review >

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Imagine an age when there were still people around who'd seen U.S. Grant with their own eyes, and men who'd voted for Lincoln." Read full book review >

FAIR WEATHER by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Into the quiet, routinized farm life of 14-year-old Rosie, older sister Lottie, and younger brother Buster comes a letter from Aunt Euterpe in Chicago, inviting them to the 1893 World's Fair. Read full book review >

A YEAR DOWN YONDER by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

Set in 1937 during the so-called "Roosevelt recession," tight times compel Mary Alice, a Chicago girl, to move in with her grandmother, who lives in a tiny Illinois town so behind the times that it doesn't "even have a picture show." Read full book review >

A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

In a novel that skillfully captures the nuances of small-town life, an elderly man reminisces about his annual trips from Chicago to his grandmother's house in rural Illinois during the Depression. Read full book review >

LONDON HOLIDAY by Richard Peck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1998

A slight story about three girlhood friends, now in midlife crisis, who take a London holiday that miraculously takes care of all their problems. Read full book review >

STRAYS LIKE US by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1998

With a hospitalized heroin addict for a mother and facing the prospect of another new school, Molly Moberly, 12, is a stray who delivers in an abrupt and somewhat detached narrative the details of a year in her life. Read full book review >

THE GREAT INTERACTIVE DREAM MACHINE by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

In this sequel to Lost in Cyberspace (1995), computer-whiz Aaron Zimmer has accidentally given his computer the ability to grant wishes. Read full book review >

LOST IN CYBERSPACE by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

Peck (The Last Safe Place on Earth, p. 230) forays into cyberspace for a fast-paced, fun-filled adventure that's virtually guaranteed. Read full book review >

THE LAST SAFE PLACE ON EARTH by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1995

The Tobins have moved to Walden Woods because they thought they would be safe in the friendly, upscale community, with an excellent school system. Read full book review >

BEL-AIR BAMBI AND THE MALL RATS by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

A merry spoof of everything from L.A. and TV pilots to beauty salons: Buffie explains how she and the rest of the Babcock family find themselves run out of Hollywood and on their way to the place that has inspired their father's increasingly alarming bouts of nostalgia—his hometown, where his fond memories and the bombed-out look of Hickory Fork don't mesh. Read full book review >

UNFINISHED PORTRAIT OF JESSICA by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

In a season with two outstanding novels (both by women) hinging on failed mothers (Journey, p. 1013; Monkey Island, p. 857), another fine novel to right the balance: Jessica's charismatic dad is a childish, unproductive womanizer; her mother, whom she first presents as a nonentity, has blossomed by book's end into nurturer, role model, and friend. When her adored father leaves, Jessica—with the cruel single-mindedness of a 13-year-old—blames her mother, whom she describes as a colorless drudge. Read full book review >

VOICES AFTER MIDNIGHT by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1989

"A quick-moving, neatly plotted time fantasy, with thoroughly likable characters, bantering dialogue, and just the right touch of romance."
Chad—a frank, ingenuous 14-year-old Californian—tells what happens when his family rents an old New York town house on East 73rd for two weeks one summer: farewell to beaches and barbeques, hello Central Park and—after slipping into several other times—the Blizzard of 1888. Read full book review >
THOSE SUMMER GIRLS I NEVER MET by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1988

"The setting isn't well-realized: both ship and ports of call come across as painted backdrops; but the lively cast more than compensates."
Drew Wingate feels as if his big summer plans have been blown out of the water but finds instead that they've just changed course. Read full book review >
PRINCESS ASHLEY by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 15, 1987

"Another winner."
Here, Chelsea narrates the events in her sophomore and junior years, when she modeled herself on Ashley—lovely, rich, and apparently self-possessed. Read full book review >
Released: March 7, 1986

"If readers can overlook several unbelievable coincidences that help her accomplish her task, they'll enjoy this offbeat, spirited tale of a resourceful girl facing a challenge with courage and humor."
Fans of the unflappable Blossom Culp and Alexander Armsworth, her unwitting companion in the occult, will welcome this fourth book about Blossom with open arms. Read full book review >
REMEMBERING THE GOOD TIMES by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 5, 1985

"Still, that's certainly preferable to a facile psychological case history; and the whole account has an air of firmly planted, strongly felt reality."
One of Peck's more serious young novels, this is the story of three friends—four, if you count Kate's tart great-grandmother Polly, who completes their daily gathering for cards and conversation. Read full book review >
THIS FAMILY OF WOMEN by Richard Peck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1983

"Winey, full-bodied, gossipy, offering both calico and satin: a romantically styled winner."
By the author of Amanda/Miranda and other entertainments: a four-generational set of stout-hearted ladies—tough, wily, dwarfing their men, independent, and passing along their survivalist strengths to their daughters (often at a chilly or chary distance). Read full book review >
NEW YORK TIME by Richard Peck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1981

"Overall: lots of fine witchy humor, but not enough motor power to carry a familiar tale over the top of sentiment."
Through the traumas of mid-westerner Barbara Renfrew, class of '65, Peck takes zippy aim at some very broad targets: the dear dead days of college sororities, felt skirts, and garter belts; middle-exec Chicago suburbia; lower-exec Mafia digs in New Jersey; and moldering Manhattan. Read full book review >
AMANDA/MIRANDA by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: March 11, 1980

"All in all, a gorgeously romantic, implausible affair comfy as eiderdown."
Peck has unearthed one of the hoariest of chimney-corner romantic devices—the wobbly course of love and intrigue when two young things of diverse origins and temperament look exactly alike and cross destinies; and he displays it here in late-Edwardian satin, with agile prose and a straight face. Read full book review >
SECRETS OF THE SHOPPING MALL by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1979

"Worse, Teresa and Barnie have no personalities either and their thoughts and conversations no vitality."
On an impulse, unhappy loner Teresa rescues brainy Barnie from a mean gang in their inner city junior high school—and the two flee to a suburban jungle that proves just as dangerous. Read full book review >
FATHER FIGURE by Richard Peck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1978

"Jim tells the story in a clipped first person that reflects his veneer of cool; it also reflects a certain slickness on Peck's part—but not enough to invalidate his generally well-drawn relationships."
Jim Atwater doesn't show much reaction to the suicide of his terminally ill mother, but he does, insidiously, grow more and more possessively protective toward his little brother when the two boys are left alone in the large, fading Brooklyn Heights home of their proper stiff-lipped grandmother. Read full book review >
GHOSTS I HAVE BEEN by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1977

"Never one for false modesty (on page one Blossom bills herself as "the most famous girl in two countries"), Peck's heroine proves to be such a redoubtable "Seeress" that despite the extravagant self-promotion, she just about manages to live up to the hype."
So closely does this follow The Ghost Belonged to Me (1975) that at times Peck's sequel on Second Sight verges on déja vu. Read full book review >
Released: May 9, 1977

"Young readers might recognize every detail of Toby's vigil—but, as Peck doesn't make them share the terrors, their emotional involvement is minimal."
Peck's first story for younger children takes Toby through a scary summer night at his grandmother's Victorian house. Read full book review >
ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1976

"As we expect this to be read as a chiller rather than a case study, we'll rate it medium cool—fast-paced and frighteningly accurate but without the quality of inevitability that keeps one awake after lights out."
Gail Osborn's ordeal begins with an obscene note pinned to her school locker, builds until she is raped and beaten by her best friend's disturbed steady, and is intensified throughout by her isolation—first, when family, friends, and counselors are indifferent or incapable of reacting to the anonymous threats, and, later, when a sneering police chief and timid, hypocritical townspeople dissuade her from prosecuting a boy from a prominent family. Read full book review >
THE GHOST BELONGED TO ME by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: April 28, 1975

"But Peck throws in enough scary moments to prove that he'd be a winner in any campfire storytelling session, and in that spirit he will keep his audience giggling and just a little frightened at the same time."
"There are several opinions that people hold regarding ghosts, and not one of them would clinch an argument." Read full book review >
REPRESENTING SUPER DOLL by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1974

"Velma indeed is a likable girl and, as Sheri says, she doesn't miss much."
Verna is a wholesome farm girl who finds being bused to high school in industrial Dunthorpe a bit of a culture shock, but before long she is in with the girls she had aimed for and even accompanies one of them, beautiful though stupid Darlene, to her appearances in New York City as Central U.S. Teen Super Doll. Read full book review >
THROUGH A BRIEF DARKNESS by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 19, 1973

In his third YA novel Peck wisely relinquishes any pretense to relevance or depth and comes out with a tightly drawn romantic melodrama about sixteen year-old Karen, protected daughter of a big time crook, who is suddenly pulled out of boarding school and hustled off to "relatives" in England, there to discover gradually that she has actually been kidnapped by ruthless members of a rival syndicate. Read full book review >
DREAMLAND LAKE by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: Aug. 6, 1973

"The message is somewhat less than meets the eye, but for boys at a certain stage of growing up, Dreamland Lake projects a firm reality."
Not once, but three different times, Brian Bishop finds himself staring into the "Awful Face of Death." Read full book review >
DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT by Richard Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 10, 1972

"It won't hurt if you read it for the humor, but don't look for any hidden profundity."
Life on the wrong side of the tracks when the tracks are in Claypitts the "Pearl of the Prairie" isn't much to brag about, and Carol, with her ready self-deprecating wit would be the first to admit it. Read full book review >
MINDSCAPES by Richard Peck
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1971

"Good anthologies of modern poetry are no longer hard to find — there's been a flock since Watermelon Pickel; this is better than most, fresh and uncompromising."
From the editor of Sounds and Silences (1970, p. 750, J-292) another absorbing collection. Read full book review >
SOUNDS AND SILENCES by Richard Peck
POETRY
Released: Aug. 15, 1970

"A sound choice—you'll hear vibrations."
As contemporary as "Sonic Boom" (John Updike) and the Beatles ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "She's Leaving Home"), this selection of modern poetry is comparable in quality and appeal (if not in appearance) to A Gift of Watermelon fickle. Read full book review >