I have heard Richard Peck speak a couple of times. He is an older gentleman who used to be a school teacher. He was upset by the moral character of his students and of society in general and decided to write YA fiction as a way to give moral guidance. Once, right after he had published On the Wings of Heroes (2007) and he said that he had decided that he would never write anything but historical fiction because he believed that teens needed to know and hear stories of family and courage and love. Then I heard him speak a few years later and he said he had changed his mind. He had read an article about some teenage girls who had been killed in a car accident while texting, and the whole story of Three Quarters Dead came to him. Even though he is something of a moral evangelist, Peck is a wonderful writer. A Long Way from Chicago is one of my favorite books of all time. His historical books are funny and tender and his characterizations are rich and complex. I was a little hesitant to read this one. I read one or two of his ghost stories that he wrote clear back in the 70's and didn't like them as much as his other stuff. But I finally decided to try this one.