Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Richard Wayne Peck

Born: 1934 in Decatur, Illinois
Died: May 23, 2018 in New York City

Pen Name: Richard Peck

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

Biography: 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.


Awards:
    '''''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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children; Young adult readers

Richard Wayne Peck on WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=richard+peck


Selected Titles

A long way from Chicago :
ISBN: 0141303522 OCLC: 38249685

Dial Books for Young Readers, New York : ©1998.

A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

A year down yonder /
ISBN: 0142300705 OCLC: 42061114

Dial Books for Young Readers, New York : 2000.

In 1937, during the Depression, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice, initially apprehensive about leaving Chicago to spend a year with her fearsome, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois, gradually begins to better understand and admire her grandmother's unusual qualities.

  Amanda, Miranda
ISBN: 9010035743 OCLC: 63407310

Zuid-Hollandsche U.M., Amsterdam : 1981.

De belevenissen van een jong, adellijk meisje en haar kamenierster die uiterlijk veel op elkaar lijken, aan het begin van de 20e eeuw.

Amanda/Miranda /
ISBN: 0141312173 OCLC: 40783804

Dial Books, New York : 1999.

In 1911 in England, eighteen-year-old Mary Cooke is hired as personal maid to the willful and arrogant Amanda Whitwell and is astonished to find that her new employer is her near-double, a coincidence that has lasting consequences for Mary, especially when she accompanies Amanda on the Titanic's fateful voyage.

Anonymously yours /
ISBN: 0671741624 OCLC: 23355854

J. Messner, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : 1991.

The popular author describes how he grew up in Decatur, Illinois, went into teaching, and eventually became a writer, incorporating his earlier experiences into novels intended to reach and change young readers.

Are you in the house alone? /
ISBN: 0141306939 OCLC: 2388493

Viking Press, New York : 1976.

A sixteen-year-old girl with a steady boyfriend suddenly begins receiving threatening phone calls while she is babysitting and anonymous notes in her high school locker.

Bel-Air Bambi and the Mall Rats /
ISBN: 0440219256 OCLC: 32206737

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, New York, N.Y. : 1995, ©1993.

Bambi, Buffie, and Brick, three totally cool siblings from Los Angeles, move with their parents to Hickory Fork, a small town terrorized by a high school gang.

Blossom Culp and the sleep of death /
ISBN: 0440406765 OCLC: 16275259

Dell Pub., New York : ©1986.

Blossom, high-school freshman and possessor of "second sight," helps an Egyptian princess, dead for 3500 years, to regain her tomb, and in addition saves a suffragette school teacher from losing her job in 1914.

Close enough to touch /
ISBN: 0385281455 OCLC: 23885729

Delacorte Press, New York : ©1991.

A seventeen-year-old boy trying to recover from the loss of his girlfriend meets an unusual girl.

Don't look and it won't hurt /
ISBN: 0440212138 OCLC: 25492594

Dell, New York : 1992, ©1972.

A teenage girl struggles to understand her place within her family and in the world.

  Dreamland lake
ISBN: 0380001829 OCLC: 907018385

Avon Books, New York : 1974.

When two thirteen-year-olds discover a dead man, a chain of events begins that involves several kinds of death.

  Dreamland Lake /
ISBN: 0833541196 OCLC: 42888016

Puffin Books, New York : 2000.

Best friends since grade school, thirteen-year-old Flip and Brian find that their friendship and their lives are forever changed after they discover a dead man near Dreamland Lake.

Fair weather :
ISBN: 0142500348 OCLC: 44972223

Dial Books, New York : ©2001.

In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World's Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.

Father figure :
ISBN: 014037969X OCLC: 3869796

Viking Press, New York : 1978.

After being a father figure for years, Jim and his younger brother are reunited with their divorced father and Jim is forced to find a new role for himself.

Ghosts I have been :
ISBN: 0141310960 OCLC: 3034506

Viking Press, New York : 1977.

Blossom Culp's gift of second sight, which she discovers gradually, leads her into some unusual adventures.

Here lies the librarian /
ISBN: 0803730802 OCLC: 61228560

Dial Books, New York : ©2006.

Fourteen-year-old Eleanor "Peewee" McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians.

London holiday /
ISBN: 0670873683 OCLC: 37024944

Viking, New York, N.Y. : 1998.

The lives of three American women are changed by a holiday in London. Interior decorator Julia finds happiness with a lord, divorced Margo lands a doctor and socialite Les opens a business.

Lost in cyberspace /
ISBN: 0140378561 OCLC: 37784386

Puffin Books, New York : 1997.

While dealing with changes at home, sixth-grader Josh and his friend Aaron use the computer at their New York prep school to travel through time, learning some secrets from the school's past and improving Josh's home situation.

Love and death at the mall :
ISBN: 0385311737 OCLC: 27975775

Delacorte Press, New York : 1994.

Peck shares insights gleaned from student writing, reader mail, and his "lightning raids" on schools and libraries across America.

Monster night at Grandma's house /
ISBN: 0803729049 OCLC: 50851818

Dial Books for Young Readers, New York : 2003.

Daytime at Grandma's house is fine, but bedtime is terrifying when a monster seems to be about.

  New York time /
ISBN: 0440063469 OCLC: 6914644

Delacorte Press, New York, N.Y. : ©1981.

Barbara Renfrew has a pretty good life on Chicago's North Shore. Then her husband is transferred to New York City and her marriage goes down the drain.

On the wings of heroes /
ISBN: 0803730810 OCLC: 69027520

Dial Books, New York : ©2007.

A boy in Illinois remembers the homefront years of World War II, especially his two heroes--his brother in the Air Force and his father, who fought in the previous war.

Past perfect, present tense :
ISBN: 0803729987 OCLC: 52631530

Dial Books, New York : 2004.

A collection of short stories, including two previously unpublished ones, that deal with the way things could be.

Princess Ashley /
ISBN: 044020206X OCLC: 18769780

Dell, New York : 1988, ©1987.

In her new high school, where her mother has taken a job as counselor, Chelsea experiences joys and sorrows as she makes choices about new friends and learns they are not always what they seem.

Remembering the good times /
ISBN: 0440973392 OCLC: 13436076

Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York : 1986, ©1985.

Trav, Kate, and Buck make up a trio during their freshman year in high school, but their special friendship may not be enough to save Trav as he pressures himself relentlessly to succeed, in his own eyes as well as in the eyes of his parents and the world. A strong friendship between 2 boys & a girl is destroyed when one of them commits suicide. How well do we know our best friends? They were the best of friends. Sixteen-year-old Buck Mendenhall first met Kate Lucas the summer before seventh grade. In eighth grade they made friends with the brilliant and wealthy newcomer, Trav Kirby. They didn't seem to need anyone else. Mostly they looked forward to the good times shared at Kate's house. It didn't matter if their classmates wondered about them; no one could unravel their binding ties. At least that's what they thought. When one of the trio finds the future too great a threat, the other two can only wonder: "How well did we know our best friend?" "With humanity, wit, and a quiet intensity, Peck's novel depicts suicide as a turning point inward of the pressures in an alienated and violent society."

Representing Super Doll /
ISBN: 014038555X OCLC: 37033455

Puffin Books, New York : 1997, ©1974.

After being involved in the brittle, superficial world of a beauty contest, a country girl appreciates even more the solid values of her Indiana farm life.

Secrets of the shopping mall /
ISBN: 0440402700 OCLC: 20832741

Dell, New York : 1989, ©1979.

Two eighth-grade loners decide to take up residence in a department store. Little do they know that theirs is not an original idea.

Strays like us /
ISBN: 014130619X OCLC: 36824809

Dial Books, New York : 1998.

When her drug-addict mother can no longer care for her, twelve-year-old Molly comes to stay with her great-aunt and slowly begins to realize that others in the small town also feel as if they don't belong.

The best man /
ISBN: 0803738390 OCLC: 933567931

"Archer has four important role models in his life--his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer's sixth-grade year becomes one he'll never forget"--

The dreadful future of Blossom Culp /
ISBN: 0141310944 OCLC: 9371201

Delacorte Press, New York : ©1983.

Blossom, not the most popular member of her freshman class in 1914, travels ahead seventy years, and returns in time to make Halloween a memorable night for her classmates and teachers.

The ghost belonged to me :
ISBN: 0140386718 OCLC: 1174625

In 1913 in the Midwest a quartet of characters share adventures from exploding steamboats to "exorcizing" a ghost.

The last safe place on earth /
ISBN: 0440220076 OCLC: 35187615

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, New York : ©1995.

Fifteen-year-old Todd sees his perfect suburban world start to unravel when his little sister has her mind poisoned by a member of a fundamentalist sect and he begins to notice signs of censorship in his community.

The mouse with the question mark tail :
ISBN: 0803738382 OCLC: 807767790

A very small mouse of unknown origins runs away from school in the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace shortly before the celebration of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, celebrating her sixty years on the British throne.

The river between us /
ISBN: 0803727356 OCLC: 50737073

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

The teacher's funeral :
ISBN: 0803727364 OCLC: 54857970

Dial Books, New York : ©2004.

In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dream of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew is disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean, old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."

  This family of women /
ISBN: 070898214X OCLC: 12519616

Charnwood, Leicester : 1984, ©1983.

Those summer girls I never met /
ISBN: 0440204577 OCLC: 20376574

Dell, New York, N.Y. : 1989, ©1988.

Drew and Steph, ages almost-sixteen and fourteen, reluctantly take a Baltic cruise with their heretofore unknown grandmother, a singing star of the 1940s, and have the experience of a lifetime.

  Through Brief Darkness
ISBN: 0380001616 OCLC: 234219343

Avon Books (Mm) 1974

Unfinished portrait of Jessica /
ISBN: 0440218861 OCLC: 28967672

Dell, New York : 1993, ©1991.

A trip to Mexico to visit the divorced vagabond father whom she idolizes cures fourteen-year-old Jessica of certain illusions and helps her reconstruct her relationship with her mother.

Voices after midnight :
ISBN: 0440403782 OCLC: 22841304

Dell, New York, N.Y. : 1990, ©1989.

Living with their sister and parents in a rented house in New York City during the summer, Chad and Luke uncover a mystery involving the former tenants of the house when the two brothers slip back in time to 1888.

Write a tale of terror /
ISBN: 0913839604 OCLC: 21106668

Book Lures, O'Fallon, Mo. : ©1987.

 

 

Accessibility