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The Teacher's Funeral

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If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it," begins Richard Peck's latest novel, a book full of his signature wit and sass. Russell Culver is fifteen in 1904, and he's raring to leave his tiny Indiana farm town for the endless sky of the Dakotas. To him, school has been nothing but a chain holding him back from his dreams. Maybe now that his teacher has passed on, they'll shut the school down entirely and leave him free to roam.

No such luck. Russell has a particularly eventful season of schooling ahead of him, led by a teacher he never could have predicted-perhaps the only teacher equipped to control the likes of him: his sister Tansy. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and more than any classroom's share of snakes, Tansy will manage to keep that school alive and maybe, just maybe, set her brother on a new, wiser course.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 01, 2004 – "If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it," begins Peck's (A Year Down Under) latest rural comedy, set in the "backwoodsiest corner of Indiana." Just before school starts in 1904, a "miracle" occurs for 15-year-old Russell Culver and his classmates at Hominy Ridge School: Miss Myrt Arbuckle, the schoolmarm ("she must have been forty... past her prime"), suddenly drops dead. Russell has high hopes that the school board will close the one-room schoolhouse. But as luck would have it, his high-school–age sister, Tansy, is hired to take Miss Myrt's place. What follows is a series of hilarious episodes, colorfully narrated by Russell, which recount Tansy's trials and tribulations attempting to educate a motley crew of pupils and maintain some order. Tansy and her students survive a privy fire, an explosion inside the school, a run-in with a snake and threats from neighboring "Aunt" Fannie Hamline, who accuses the students of "trespassin' and stealin'." Events on their own are enough to keep readers in stitches, but Russell's pithy descriptions of characters (" had a snout on her long enough to drink water down a crawdad hole") add another dimension of humor. Following the tradition of Mark Twain, Peck gently pokes fun at social manners and captures local color while providing first-rate entertainment. Ages 10-up.

Customer Reviews

Good book.

I liked it. Richard peck is one of my fav authors.


It keeps crashing and now I've wasted 7 $

the teacher's funeral

Id definately reccomend this book to anyone ages 10 and up!!!

The Teacher's Funeral
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 3-7
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction
  • Published: Apr 20, 2006
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings