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Robert Newton Peck
Peck's Work

Young Adult Fiction by Robert Newton Peck

Although Arly Poole seems bound to follow in his father's footsteps as a field worker in Jailtown, Florida, where his family lives in 1927 in the shadow of a cruel boss, his world suddenly seems larger when a schoolteacher comes to town.
Walker, 1989.

Arly's Run
Arly, an orphan in search of a home and a family, escapes from a brutal migrant labor camp, joins a traveling religious show, and battles a devastating Florida hurricane.
Walker, 1991.

While doing research for a school essay about a reclusive old mountain man, two boys fall into an abandoned mine shaft from which only the old man can rescue them. Illustrated by Andrew Glass.
Knopf, 1982.

Basket Case
Higbee Hartburn, Graffiti Prep's foremost prankster, goes to great lengths to provide the school with a victorious basketball team.
Doubleday, 1979.

Bee Tree and Other Stuff
More than prose and poetry, it is the lyric and tune of a family and a farm. Illustrated by Laura Lydecker. Walker, 1975.


Florida: 1933.  A train, rushing through the night ... a car, stalled in its path ... a boy's life, shattered. Tugwell Dockery hasn't spoken since the horrific events that unfolded one afternoon six years ago at his grandfather's ranch. Now he's back there, newly orphaned, living with his grandfather and gutsy great-aunt.  Broda Joe Dockery hasn't seen his brother since his incarceration two years ago at the Pecan County Correctional Labor Camp. Now, realizing Tug must live at the site of a tragedy he witnessed, Broda Joe knows he must be with his brother, even if it means breaking the law and risking his life.  Robert Newton Peck writes of grit and courage, and the steel-strong bonds that unite families and endure beyond life itself.

Harper Collins, 2004, 160 pp., ISBN:  0060529741


A teenage boy risks his own popularity to give friendship and support to a retarded girl who is harassed by her classmates.
Knopf, 1979.

Cowboy Ghost
Growing up without a mother and with an aloof father on a cattle ranch in Florida in the first part of the 1900s has made Titus very close to his older brother, Micah, and determined to make Micah proud of him when the two go on their first cattle drive together.
Harper Collins, 1999.

A Day No Pigs Would Die
To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns "doing what's got to be done," especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter.
Knopf, 1972.

An unlikely trio of a deaf-mute Black fighter, his elderly manager, and a young orphan girl travel the Florida countryside putting on fight shows.
Pineapple Press, 1884.

Eagle Fur
A story about Abbott Coe, 16-year-old orphan boy, set in the wilds of Canada in 1754 as the French and Indian War brewed across North America.
Knopf, 1978.

Extra Innings
A humorous and heartwarming story of how yesterday's baseball diamonds help to mend the crushed leg and battered spirit of Tate Stonemason, a young athlete.
Harper Collins, 2001.

At the time of the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758, an Indian boy, the son of a Jesuit priest, observes the savagery of the French, English, and Indians, and tries to save his father from what could be a terrible fate. Little Brown, 1975.

In a novel of extraordinary beauty and humanity, the author of A Day No Pigs Would Die re-creates a small town in Florida during the Depression and brings to vivid life the varied human beings who populate it.
Walker, 1988.

A pig's tremendous appetite proves useful when a wolf invades the barnyard. Illustrated by Laura Lydecker. Walker, 1976.

Hang For Treason
The setting is Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, at a time when tensions ran high between American patriots and British loyalists A young American boy joins Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys despite the fact that his Father is a Tory.
Doubleday, 1976.

Higbee's Halloween
Life in quiet Clod's Corners changes drastically for Higbee and his best friend Quincy when the very nasty Striker kids move in and Higbee decides to make them the target of a grand Halloween prank.
Walker, 1990.

Horse Thief
After losing two fingers in his first bull ride, Tullis Yoder, age seventeen, worries that he'll never have a chance to top another bull.  Then the rodeo show he works for goes belly-up broke, and he learns that its thirteen horses - his only family - will be slaughtered for dog food.  With the help of a lady doctor and an aging, card-cheating, dice-rolling horse thief (momentarily in jail), Tullis steals his beloved rodeo horses.  They travel by night, pursued by crooks, three sheriffs, a powerful judge, and a pretty girl.  A rough and rowdy case and a 1938 rural setting add grit and gusto to a fast-moving adventure...

The Horse Hunters
In 1932 in Florida, despite his older brother's objections, fifteen-year-old Ladd finds himself, through a series of unforeseen circumstances, traveling alone more than 100 miles to bring back wild horses for the rodeo and for breeding.
Random House, 1988.

When their teacher enters the annual Chump's Landing Overland Obstacle Bicycle Race, Horrace Hubert and his best friend Spooner Jitwell do everything they can to make sure she wins the silver trophy. Illustrated by Ted Lewin.
Knopf, 1979.

Jo Silver
Sixteen-year-old Kenny's hike through the Adirondacks in search of a writer at Lost Pond becomes a fight for survival as he realizes he is not alone in the hostile wilderness.
Pineapple Press, 1975.

Justice Lion
Fifteen-year-old Muncie Bolt thinks he's lost Hem Lion's friendship forever when his father prosecutes Hem's father for operating a still in Liberty, Vermont during the days of prohibition.
Little Brown, 1981.

Kirk's Law
A rugged life-style in the Vermont woods with a feisty old hunter called Wishbone Kirk develops the character of a 15-year-old boy.
Doubleday, 1981.

Last Sunday
Twelve-year-old mascot Babe helps her aging friend and pitcher Sober McGinty arrive in time for the antics at Durkee's Lot when two local teams meet for the biggest game of the season. Illustrated by Ben Stahl. Doubleday, 1977.

Little Soup's Birthday
A freak snowstorm almost keeps Rob and his best friend Soup from celebrating Soup's ninth birthday, but the boys' ingenuity makes the party a success.
Dell, 1991.

Little Soup's Bunny
Easter is on the way and Soup and Rob are ready. They have a baby rabbit named Bucky who loves to eat carrots, and they are dyeing Easter eggs (and Rob's foot). But putting all your eggs in one basket can lead to trouble. Messy, yellow, smelly trouble!
Dell, 1993.

Little Soup's Hayride
Soup and his best pal, Rob are planning to go on a hayride. Rob hopes it's going to be an ordinary hayride, but he should know better when Soup is in charge. There's no stopping the boys as they fly into action.
Dell, 1991.

Little Soup's Turkey
Thanksgiving is coming, and Soup and Rob can't wait to perform in the school's holiday play, but mix together a fifty pound turkey, seven sacks of mystery corn, a hot stove, and two stagestruck boys, and what you get is a lot of trouble.
Dell, 1992.

Millie's Boy
A novel that begins with a murder on a cold Vermont night. The story of a boy's search for his mother's killer and for his own identity.
Knopf, 1973.

Mr. Little
Greatly disappointed that the celebrated Miss K will not be their teacher, Finley Streeter and Stanley Dragavich pull pranks on the new teacher in their small town. Illustrated by Ben Stahl.
Doubleday, 1979.

Nine Man Tree
In Depression-era Florida, young Yoolee assumes the responsibility of protecting his family from an unspeakable horror stalking the swamplands.
Random House, 1998.

A Part of the Sky
After the death of his father, thirteen-year-old Rob Peck struggles to take charge of the family's small Vermont farm in the face of the financial hardships of the Depression, in the poignant sequel to A Day No Pigs Would Die. Knopf/Random House, 1994.

A bishop's wife and a used-car salesman compete in a watermelon seed-spitting contest. Illustrated by Ted Lewin.
Knopf, 1977.

Rabbits and Redcoats
In May 1775 two boys participate in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys and befriend a young British soldier. Illustrated by Laura Lydecker.
Walker, 1976.

The Seminole Seed
Set in modern Florida, this is a story about Kirby Tree, a young, talented tennis player. Kirby is the son of Flower Tree, a beautiful unwed Seminole who died in child-birth. He's raised in the traditional way in the Florida swamp by his grandfather and his devoted uncle Little Man Tree.
Pineapple Press, 1983.

Rural Vermont during the 1920s is the setting for this nostalgic (series) of episodes in the lives of young Rob Peck and his pal, Soup. Soup is the first book in the series. Illustrated by Charles Gehm.
Knopf, 1974.

Soup 1776
In May 1775 two boys participate in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys and befriend a young British soldier.
Knopf/Random House, 1995.

Soup Ahoy
A radio contest, the impending visit of actor Sinker O. Sailor to their small Vermont town, and rumors of a black pearl in Wet Lake spur Soup and Rob on to a spectacular nautical disaster.
Delacorte, 1994.

Soup & Me
The further adventures and misadventures of Rob and Soup, two boys growing up in a small Vermont town. Illustrated by Charles Lilly.
Knopf, 1975.

Soup for President
Rob manages Soup's campaign for class president in their small Vermont town. Illustrated by Ted Lewin.
Knopf, 1978.

Soup in Love
As Valentine's Day approaches their Vermont town of Learning, Soup and Rob experience several forms of love. Delacorte, 1992.

Soup in the Saddle
Anticipating the celebration of Miss Kelly Day in honor of the teacher of their one-room school in Learning, Vermont, Soup and Rob save the day from certain catastrophe at the hands of Dr. Elsa Pinkerton Uppit. Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Knopf, 1983.

Soup on Fire
Rob and Soup set in motion a wild scheme to catch the eye of the Hollywood talent scout visiting their small Vermont town. Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Delacorte, 1987.

Soup on Ice
Rob and Soup engineer an incredible appearance by Santa and his sleigh in their small Vermont town. Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Knopf, 1985.

Soup on Wheels
Rob and Soup vie for the prize in their town's "Vermont Mardy Grah." Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Knopf, 1981.

Soup's Drum
Rob totes Soup's huge drum through the Fourth of July parade before he realizes Soup hasn't carried his share. Before the close of the celebration Rob gets even. Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Knopf, 1980.

Soup's Goat
Clean and tidy cousin Sexton lends his unusual talent to Soup and Rob as they engage in the town's goat-cart race. Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Knopf, 1984.

Soup's Hoop
Soup's crazy plan to help his town's basketball team to victory includes constructing a musical instrument called a spitzentootle and snaring the evil Janice Riker in an unpleasant trap. Illustrated by Charles Robinson. Delacorte, 1990.

Soup's Uncle
A visit from Uncle Virus and his motorcycle gang stimulates Soup to new and ingenious schemes, involving a cache of moonshine, a motorcycle competition, and revenge on the dreaded Janice Riker.  Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Delacorte, 1988.

Spanish Hoof
The year she turns twelve on Spanish Hoof, her family's beloved ranch in Florida, Harry gets a pony and learns some hard lessons about life.
Knopf, 1985.

A young girl living on a Vermont farm relates the events of the day her uncle brought her a genuine "Junior G-man machine gun." Illustrated by Pamela Johnson.
Little, Brown, 1977.

Trig Goes Ape
Trig gets in on an uproarious melee when Buck Fargo's Wild Ape and Monkey Show comes to town. Illustrated by Pamela Johnson.
Little, Brown, 1980.

Trig or Treat
Assisted by her friends costumed as Samson and Gideon, frecklefaced Trig masquerades as the seductive Delilah for the church Halloween costume pageant. Illustrated by Pamela Johnson.
Little, Brown, 1982.

Trig Sees Red
An official Junior G-man takes matters into her own hands when Clodburg's only uniformed policeman is replaced by a traffic light. Illustrated by Pamela Johnson.
Little, Brown, 1978.

Follows the activities and adventures of a wild city cat from her birth until she mates and produces a litter of her own. Illustrated by Hal Frenck.
Holiday House, 1975.

Non Fiction by Robert Newton Peck

HOW to Write Fiction Like a Pro - A Simple-to-Savvy Toolkit for Aspiring Authors
In HOW to Write Fiction Like a Pro: A Simple-to-Savvy Toolkit for Aspiring Authors, provides emerging writers with the power tools they need to start building their own books. Readers will learn everything from pacing a story and writing dialogue that flows to molding the tangible "stuff" of life into the characters and storylines of fiction.

HOW is written in the straightforward, earthy, and humorous voice that fans of Rob's fiction have come to know and love. Informative but not preachy, HOW's lighthearted style immediately engages readers, inspiring them to take up the tools and write from their own lives and their own strengths.

Learning isn't a load. It's laughter.

Aspiring authors are sure to learn-- and laugh-- as they discover HOW to Write Fiction Like a Pro.
Maupin House, 2006

Weeds in Bloom: Autobiography of an Ordinary Man
With over 65 books to his name, including the classic A Day No Pigs Would Die, Robert Newton Peck has enjoyed an illustrious writing career.  Now, in an autobiography as unique as he is, Peck tells his story through the people who've shaped his life: a nameless man who shovels coal for the freight train, a farrier with a penchant for early breakfasts, a homeless boy who learns to play piano by ear, a grizzled backwoodsman, a panther-hunting Seminole, a Jamaican sugar-cane cutter.  Rough-cut and unpolished, they are what Peck would call plain folk, the country's poor and uneducated.

In this extraordinary autobiography of a self-proclaimed ordinary man, Robert Newton Peck gifts us with a treasury of quiet wisdom and humble understanding.  It is a rare glimpse not only into the author's life but also into the lives of those who too often go unseen and unheard.
Random House, 2005.

My Vermont II
Prose and poetry of Peck's farm life, plus humor, bits and pieces.
Peck Press, 1988.

My Vermont
Prose and poetry of Peck's farm life, plus humor, bits and pieces.
Peck Press, 1985.

Fiction is Folks: How to Create Unforgettable Characters
Its purpose is to convince you that it is not plot, but character that makes your story glisten. It will show you chapter by chapter, how to flip over a rock and find folks for your fiction.
Writer's Digest Books, 1983.

Secrets of Successful Fiction: A Fun-to-Read, Easy-to-Master Toolkit for Writers of All Ages
Primarily a book on style. Several chapters touch on characters and how they work for you.
Writer's Digest Books, 1980.

Path of Hunters: Animal Struggle in a Meadow
Describes the behavior of a variety of common field, wood, and water animals emphasizing their interdependency for survival. Illustrated by Betty Fraser.
Knopf, 1973.

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Last Updated 07/01/20