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The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three…

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts (2004)

by Richard Peck

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1,088447,657 (3.99)27
  1. 10
    The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (bell7)
    bell7: Another funny tale about family, this one involved four sisters on a memorable summer vacation.

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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I laughed until I peed my pants! ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
I loved this book-not only as a reader, but as a writer. Great mentor text for character building! ( )
  kimpiddington | Aug 5, 2016 |
Life in rural, backwoods Indiana in 1904 has its trials and tribulations for the students at Hominy Ridge School. A one room school of eight grades.

When Miss Myrt Arbuckle suddenly drops dead during the summer break in August, the kids get their hopes up of the school closing and freedom from learning. The school board has other ideas and hires Tansy Culver as the new teacher. She may not have her certificate for teaching and still be in high school, but she is determined to get the kids to learn their ABCs, numbers, geography and more. She has chalk dust in her veins and this is her chance.

Privy fire, snakes hidden in the classroom, cold weather and wood stove are just a few of the things she has to contend with, along with the odd assortment of students in her small class.

Russell Culver tells the story well and brings all the people to life along with the humour and colour of the time.

An enjoyable read for adults as well as kids. With discussion questions listed in the back, both could read it together and talk about it.
( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Although I found the book to be quite funny and a refreshing step back into the olden days of rural Hoosier life, I am sure my students would not understand the tongue in cheek humor and the loveliness of hard won progress. Well done. ( )
  weisser4 | May 3, 2016 |
it was great not exactly funny though ( )
  Shazarah | Feb 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Patrick Jones (VOYA, December 2004 (Vol. 27, No. 5))
This novel demonstrates the intelligence and integrity of VOYA's review system. To list Peck's ample achievement and awards would exhaust the word limit; suffice to say, Peck is the epitome of literary excellence and his latest book is no exception. Peck fills his coming-of-age story with vivid characters like Aunt Maud and dazzling use of vernacular in the book's voice and dialogue. Set in rural Indiana at the turn of the twentieth century, the "reckons," "Maws," and "jists" are stacked like rows of corn as Peck pulls readers inside life in a one-room school. After their teacher dies, fifteen-year-old Russell, his brother Lloyd, and their schoolmates hope that the school will be closed, but sadly a new teacher is hired, who just happens to be Russell's older sister Tansy. And that is when things get interesting-or do they? How will the Hee Haw humor play in a hip-hop culture? It is hard to imagine any teen reading this book unless already a fan of Peck's writing, not just because of the genre (historical fiction historically ranks low on teen reading surveys), but rather because of Peck's attraction with historical re-creation, not fast action or funny dialogue. Judgments about quality emerge from expertise, while popularity pronouncements stem from experience, but the book's subtitle, "a comedy in three parts," obscures objectivity. Despite pratfalls and privy fires, there is plenty of corn here but little comedy. The cover of the book, like the comedy within it, was not seen. VOYA CODES: 5Q 2P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Ju
added by kthomp25 | editVOYA, Patrick Jones (Dec 1, 2004)
Elizabeth Bush (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November 2004 (Vol. 58, No. 3))
News that the superannuated mistress of their rural Indiana school house has, at last, passed away sends fifteen-year-old Russell Culver into a fit of premature rejoicing. Now he can shuffle off the remainder of his academic career and get on with farming--preferably in the Dakotas with his best buddy Charlie. However, he didn't count on the locals actually hiring a new teacher for the tiny band of reluctant scholars at Hominy Ridge School, let alone his own older sister, Tansy, who's just the bargain the tight-pursed citizens are looking for. Tansy's no genius, but she certainly knows every trick in the farm kids' book and, mustering a wagonload of common sense, she fashions a somewhat eccentric curriculum and actually manages to haul Russell and Charlie through their eighth-grade exams, win the approval of the school superintendent, and meet her future husband among her classroom charges. Although there is a clearer trajectory to the Culvers' tale than in Peck's more anecdotal offerings A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago (BCCB 1/01, 10/98), the author's deft hand at setting and milking comedic scenes is again strongly in evidence, from the practical jokes surrounding the ghost of the unlamented Miss Myrt Arbuckle, to the strenuous retrieval of an overweight neighbor from a schoolyard ditch. Kids with reservations concerning their own teachers better not look to Russell for sympathy. Review Code: R -- Recommended. (c) Copyright 2004, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2004, Dial, 190p, $16.99. Grades 5-8.
added by kthomp25 | editThe Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Elizabeth Bush (Nov 1, 2004)
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If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it.
But that was far in the invisible future. If there's one thing you can't see at the age of fifteen, it's ahead.
"They'd do anything to keep me down."


"That's the way people is who ain't goin' anyplace in life theirselves. They don't want you goin' anyplace either."
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Book description
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle dies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803727364, Hardcover)

"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.
As he did in A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck creates a whole world of folksy, one-of-a-kind characters here--the enviable and the laughable, the adorably meek and the deliciously terrifying. There will be no forgetting Russell, Tansy, and all the rest who populate this hilarious, shrewd, and thoroughly enchanting novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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