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What If? : The Stories of Richard Peck

Peck, Richard

ISBN 10: 0803729987 / ISBN 13: 9780803729988
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2004
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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FINE/FINE copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000783

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Bibliographic Details

Title: What If? : The Stories of Richard Peck

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Though Richard Peck is best known as a novelist, he has been writing praised and popular short stories throughout his career. His first, "Priscilla and the Wimps," 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 story called "Shotgun Cheatham’s Last Night Above Ground"; and "The Electric Summer" was the jumping point for Fair Weather.

Now here are thirteen of Richard Peck’s stories, including all of his previously published tales and two brand-new ones. He has also written entertaining 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.


In Past Perfect, Present Tense, Newbery award winning author Richard Peck ruminates on the finer points of short story writing in concise but curmudgeonly prose. Peck provides introductory notes for each of four sections; "The First" explores his well-known early work "Priscilla and the Wimps;" "The Past" includes Peck's historical shorts; "The Supernatural" is a collection of four well-crafted ghost stories; and "The Present" showcases Peck's more recent contemporary fare. Peck rounds out the four sections of stories with two brief chapters of writing advice that speak to the reader with the clarity of personal experience. Notable excerpts include: "You have to read a thousand stories before you can write one;" and "The only writing is rewriting, and I write each of my...stories six times because I can't get them well-wrapped in the first five tries."

Peck never condescends to his audience of aspiring young writers. Instead, his tone will remind readers of their very favorite English teacher, the one that respected and encouraged their clumsy first endeavors. Peck is, and has always been, the standard against which other Young Adult authors have been measured, and any aspiring teen writer would do well to study the pages of Past Perfect, Present Tense before embarking on their first piece of fiction. (Ages 10 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

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