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1956 Grad Richard Peck's The Teacher's Funeral Named Best Historical Book for Children

May 14, 2005

peck-teachers.jpgMay 14, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - The ballots are counted, and more than 1,400 readers of Disney Adventures magazine have selected Richard Peck's The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts as 2004's best historical fiction book for children. Peck, who has been called "America's best living author for young adults," was the 2001 recipient of the Newbery Medal (the top prize for children's literature given by the American Library Association) and is a 1956 graduate of DePauw University.

A story distributed by the Washington Post notes that the overall winner "was The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket. The 11th book in Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events had the Baudelaire orphans spending most of the adventure underwater. This is the sixth year that the magazine has had kids pick their favorite books." Access the story by clicking here.

Richard Peck's thirty novels include A Year Down Yonder, The River Between Us and A Long Way from Chicago. He received the Christopher Award in March, was the 2002 winner of the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and the 1990 winner of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with School Library Journal. In April 2002, Peck received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush, the only children's book author to ever be so honored (read more here).

[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Peck on DePauw" 603KB] DePauw "made a writer out of me," Peck has said. "It warned me never to show my rough draft to anybody. That helps. I write each of my books six times because I have to, and it's the sixth version my editor sees and nothing before that. I learned that from DePauw professors."

In addition to the bachelor's degree he received from DePauw in 1956, Richard Peck was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree in 1999. He has endowed the Richard W. Peck Chair in Creative Writing, currently held by Joe Heithaus, associate professor of English.

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