Fair Weather


Richard Peck

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(Read beginning to "It was all too peaceful to last.") Rosie's aunt, the one who married a rich man and lives in Chicago, has invited the family to the World's Columbian Exposition, the wonder of the age. It's 1893, and going to the World's Columbian Exposition -- also known as the Chicago World's Fair -- is going to change everyone's lives.

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. The book keeps comparing city people and country people. What are some of the differences between city life and country life in the book?
  2. An old person appears in each of Richard Peck novels for the young. What do you think we have to learn from Grandpa?
  3. Rosie embarrassed herself in front of Mrs. Potter Palmer, "the queen of Chicago" by trying to help out her aunt. Have you ever tried to do something kind and have it go terribly wrong?
  4. To Rosie the fair was filled with wonders: electric lights, the original Ferris wheel, sinks with hot and cold running water. What were some of the other wonders of Chicago? Do you think that we have anything to compare?
  5. Richard Peck said "In all my novels, you have to declare your independence from your peers before you can take that first real step toward yourself"' Who do you see declaring independence in Fair Weather? How?
  6. Rosie and Lottie see a model farm kitchen at the Fair. They are absolutely amazed by some of the appliances described there and don't believe anyone could ever work in such a kitchen. If you were to design your own model kitchen of the future, what new appliances do you think might make life easier in the kitchen?
  7. Would you like to have been alive in 1893? What are some of the good parts and the bad parts of living then?

If you liked this book, try

  • The Gawgon and the Boy by Lloyd Alexander
  • A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
  • My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt
  • Sticks by Joan Bauer
  • What Would Joey Do? by Jack Gantos

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.