Title: The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts
Author: Richard Peck
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Range: MG and up
"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.
How could I not read this book based on the title alone?
I'm always on the hunt for a funny, charming, clever, clean read. This book fit all of those. In fact, after reading this, I started reading Peck's other books. He's a new favorite!
This one is particularly funny, especially the premise of a teacher dying right before school starting. It's a one-room school and there aren't many other options. So it's double-y hilarious when the main character's sister, who doesn't have much experience at all, tries to tame the wild bunch of kids at the school house. A lot of things go wrong, in the best way possible.