For anyone who enjoys Richard Peck's work, especially A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago, A Season of Gifts is the next book you should pick up.
Mrs Dowdel is back. We saw her as the grandmother during the Depression, taking care of her granddaughter and, occasionally, her grandson. Here she is, older but just as feisty - always with a trick up her sleeve to right wrongs and keep bullies off balance.
I wouldn't say that I want to be exactly like Mrs. Dowdel, but I do like her style.