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THE TEACHER’S FUNERAL by Richard Peck Kirkus Star

THE TEACHER’S FUNERAL

A Comedy in Three Parts

By Richard Peck

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8037-2736-4
Publisher: Dial

“If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of year for it,” 15-year-old Russell Culver says, hoping the miracle of his teacher’s death will mean his one-room school will close. Unfortunately, his great big, looming sister Tansy fills the teacher vacancy, and nothing—not a fire in the boys’ privy, an adder in her desk, an exploding stove, or a fat lady stuck in a ditch—will deter her from bringing her charges to “the trough of education.” It’s 1904, and as Tansy sets about transforming the students, modern technology is transforming America. Motorcars, telephones, all-steel threshing machines, Edison Victrolas, and the Monkey Ward catalogue all figure in this story that richly evokes a time and place. Tansy, akin to Grandma Dowdel in A Year Down Yonder (2000) and A Long Way from Chicago (1998), is the elder who makes Russell grow up, able to go out into the world and seek his fortune. Laugh-out-loud scenes beg to be read aloud in this masterfully crafted ode to a strong teacher and a bygone era. (Fiction. 10+)