Though Richard Peck is best known as a novelist, he has been writing short stories—rousing, provocative, and thoroughly entertaining—throughout his career. “Priscilla and the Wimps,” his first, is perhaps the most-read children’s short story of all time. Others have inspired his award-winning novels: A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder began with a tale called “Shotgun Cheatham’s Last Night Above Ground”; and “The Electric Summer” was the jumping point for Fair Weather. Compiled for the first time, here are all of Richard Peck’s stories: eleven previously published tales and two brand-new ones. He has also written engaging notes about the stories, an informative introduction about the genre, and tips on how to write short stories, including “Five Helpful Hints” that will be a valuable aid to aspiring authors. Vibrant and varied—from comic to supernatural, from historical to modern-day romantic—there’s something for everyone in the collected stories of Richard Peck.
About Richard Peck
Born in Decatur, IIlinois, Richard Peck has written over 18 novels for young readers. He is the winner of the 1990 Margaret A. Edwards Award, a prestigious award sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with School Library Journal; the 1990 National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature; and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award.
Peck says, "I want to write novels that ask honest questions about serious issues. A novel is never an answer; it's always a question." In The Last Safe Place on Earth, Peck deals with the serious issue of censorship, and young readers will have many questions long after the close the book.
JANE WERNER was one of the original editors of Little Golden Books. NIKKI SHANNON SMITH is an elementary school principal in California. CLEMENT C. MOORE wrote “The Night Before Christmas” for his children in 1822. SHEILAH BECKETT had a 60-year career with Golden Books, and illustrated The Nutcracker at age 99. J. P. MILLER illustrated many popular Little Golden Books from the 1940s through the 1970s, some by such notable writers as Margaret Wise Brown.