NEW YORK >> Prize-winning children’s author Richard Peck has died.
Peck died on Wednesday at his home in New York City at age 84. His publisher, Penguin Young Readers, told the Associated Press that he died after a battle with cancer.
A native of Decatur, Illinois, he was a prolific author who wrote dozens of books, often set in his native state. Peck received the John Newbery Medal in 2001 for “A Year Down Yonder,” which drew upon his family background. He was given a National Humanities Medal in 2002.
His other books included “The Best Man,” ”The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail” and “A Season of Gifts.” His novel “A Long Way from Chicago,” was a prequel to “A Year Down Yonder.” Both featured his beloved character, the no-nonsense Grandma Dowdel.