Plot: The year is 1893 and thirteen year old Rosie Beckett’s family receives a letter from their aunt Euterpe who lives in Chicago. It’s the year of the World’s Columbian Exposition – the “wonder of the age,” and Rosie’s family has just been invited. Rosie has never been much father from her farm home than a horse can pull a cart, but she has the opportunity to go to the fair! So, the family get’s ready to travel from Illinois to Chicago by train. Oddly enough they run into their mischievous Grandfather at the next train stop. And that is just the beginning of their humorous adventures that include historical figures Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell.
Review: Richard Peck is an award-winning author of many novels. This fun-filled adventure of a story mixes fictional characters with historical figures and facts to create a laugh-packed good time. Peck’s characters really seem to come to life, they have very realistic qualities. His imagery is amazing, it feels like you are actually at the World’s Fair, with all its glory and excitement. The narrative is done in a no-nonsense Midwestern voice that really helps bring the story to life. Peck provides you with photos that were taken from the Fair itself, adding a nice touch of reality to the story. This humorous adventure into the past will appeal greatly to children.
Genre: Historical Fiction/Realistic Fiction/Humorous
Reading Level/Interest Level: 6.3/5-8 graders
Similar Materials: The Trouble with Jeremy, by George Harrar, Other Richard Peck novels
Reader’s Advisory: This is a fantastic novel that comes highly recommended. A Notable Best Book of 2002. Peck has written a lot of good novels, but this one feels so real and it is hilarious as well. Great characters and a wonderful setting that children will enjoy. Absolutely recommended to all. A very good read!