Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Wayne Peck  

Pen Name: Richard Peck

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1934 in Decatur, Illinois

Died: May 23, 2018 in New York City

-- Richard Wayne Peck on WorldCat --

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.


'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

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes), contact publisher Delacorte Press 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza New York, New York 10017

Selected Titles At Your Library

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

Dial Books for Young Readers,. .

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 Number: 42061114

Dial Books for Young Readers,. .

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 Number: 63407310

Zuid-Hollandsche U.M.,. .

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 Number: 40783804

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 23355854

J. Messner,. .

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 Number: 2388493

Viking Press,. .

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 Number: 32206737

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers,. .

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 Number: 16275259

Dell Pub.,. .

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 Number: 23885729

Delacorte Press,. .

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 Number: 25492594

Dell,. .

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

Dreamland lake
ISBN: 0380001829. OCLC Number: 907018385

Avon Books,. .

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 Number: 42888016

Puffin Books,. .

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 Number: 44972223

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 3869796

Viking Press,. .

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 Number: 3034506

Viking Press,. .

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

Here lies the librarian /
ISBN: 0803730802. OCLC Number: 61228560

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 37024944

Viking,. .

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 Number: 37784386

Puffin Books,. .

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 Number: 27975775

Delacorte Press,. .

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 Number: 50851818

Dial Books for Young Readers,. .

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

New York time /
ISBN: 0440063469. OCLC Number: 6914644

Delacorte Press,. .

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 Number: 69027520

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 52631530

Dial Books,. .

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

Princess Ashley /
ISBN: 044020206X. OCLC Number: 18769780

Dell,. .

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 Number: 13436076

Bantam Doubleday Dell,. .

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 Number: 37033455

Puffin Books,. .

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 Number: 20832741

Dell,. .

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 Number: 36824809

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 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 Number: 9371201

Delacorte Press,. .

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 Number: 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 Number: 35187615

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers,. .

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 Number: 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 Number: 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 Number: 54857970

Dial Books,. .

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 Number: 12519616

Charnwood,. .

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

Dell,. .

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 Number: 234219343

Avon Books (Mm). .

Unfinished portrait of Jessica /
ISBN: 0440218861. OCLC Number: 28967672

Dell,. .

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 Number: 22841304

Dell,. .

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 Number: 21106668

Book Lures,. .