word craft


Remembering Richard Peck

Richard PeckOver the years, I came to think of Richard Peck as a friend. We were not par­tic­u­lar­ly close, but we’d meet at con­fer­ences, and speak­ing engage­ments. I got to know him very much bet­ter when he was part of the ensem­ble for Authors Read­ers The­atre, our reader’s the­atre group that toured the country.

He was always the gen­tle­men, urbane, wit­ty, hard­work­ing, will­ing to share his dis­tinct point of view, free with his opin­ions. Always impec­ca­bly dressed too, just this side of van­i­ty, defused by his own self-depre­cia­tive wit.  We nev­er talked pol­i­tics much, but when we did I doubt there was much upon which we agreed. That said—during these days of ran­cor and hostility—it’s worth say­ing that those dif­fer­ences nev­er mat­tered in our friend­ship or when work­ing togeth­er. He was fun to be with, full of ener­gy, and sly humor.

I won’t pre­tend that I knew him very well, but he was one of those peo­ple who, when gone, is sore­ly missed.

4 thoughts on “Remembering Richard Peck”

  1. OH my! I was just pack­ing some his nov­els away and thought—my stu­dents need to write to him next year. 🙁 What a gen­er­ous and tal­ent­ed writer.

  2. Richard Peck had a casu­al wit as evi­dent in his books. I had occas­sion to call his home to request a book and he spent time talk­ing with me about kids and books as if we were old friends. A rare treat in today’s rush, rush world.

  3. I met him once. We select­ed Long Way From Chica­go for a One Book. I found him to be a remark­ably intel­li­gent, thought­ful, prin­ci­pled per­son. He is some­one I call an advo­cate for what’s true and impor­tant and a nat­ur­al skep­tic of all things shiny and trendy. He was like an open win­dow in a stuffy room because his think­ing was so clear and he expressed him­self cogently.

  4. Richard Peck authored some of my favorite Mid­dle Grade nov­els. In addi­tion, he was unfail­ing­ly gen­er­ous to oth­er writ­ers who sought his coun­sel and advice. A pre­cious soul has moved on.


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