One of the most adored children’s book characters of all
time is the eccentric, forceful, bighearted Grandma Dowdel, star of the Newbery
Medal–winning A Year Down Yonder and
Newbery Honor–winning A Long Way from
Chicago. And it turns out that her story isn’t over—not even close.
It is now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to
Mrs. Dowdel—a family in desperate need of her help (whether they realize it or
not). There’s twelve-year-old Bob, shy on courage in a town full of bullies;
his Elvis-obsessed older sister, Phyllis, who just might be on the verge of
spinning out of control; Bob’s little sister, Ruth Ann, ready and waiting for a
larger-than-life role model; and even Bob’s two parents, the young minister and
his wife, who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be
the most vital. As Christmas rolls around, the whole family will realize that
they’ve found a true home, and a neighbor with remarkable gifts to share.
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