Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Wayne Peck  

Pen Name: Richard Peck

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD C:YA Fiction

Born: 1934 in Decatur, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Peck was born and raised in Decatur. He also attended Southern Illinois University and taught high school in Glenbrook and Northbrook.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Peck was most noted for his young adult novels. Mr. Peck passed away on May 23, 2018 in New York City. He grew up during World War II and credited his writing career to the many hours he spent with his mother reading books.

He was educated at Exeter University in England and also attended DePauw University and Southern Illinois University. His first experiences with writing were writing sermons for the chaplains while he was in the U.S. Army.

He spent many years teaching college and high school English before publishing his first book. This novel was written for the students he met as a teacher. Many of his books won awards, and several have been filmed.

Peck lived in New York City.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''''Are You in the House Alone?''''' *Edgar Allan Poe Award, Best Juvenile, 1977 '''''A Long Way from Chicago''''' *Finalist, Newbery Honor National Book Award, 1999 '''''A Year Down Yonder''''' *Newbery Medal, 2001 '''''The River Between Us''''' *Scott O`Dell Historical Fiction Award, 2001 '''''Fair Weather''''' *Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, 2002 '''''On the Wings of Heroes''''' *ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2015 '''''The Best Man''''' *E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor, 2017 *Student Book Award, Maine, 2017 *Honor Award for Fiction, Boston Globe-Horn, 2017 *"Best of 2016" lists