Peck, Richard. The teacher's funeral: a comedy in three parts.

Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

PECK, Richard. The teacher's funeral: a comedy in three parts. Penguin, Dial. 190p. c2004. 0-8037-2736-4. $16.99. JS*

Over the past few years, Richard Peck has left the realm of realistic fiction and ventured into the historical realms of his own past and the people and places that make up America of an earlier time. His new novel takes a humorous yet wholesome look at the Indiana farm country as America begins the 20th century. Rich with colorful characters, Midwest dialect and poignant plot twists, The Teacher's Funeral is the story of Russell Culver and the year the county schoolteacher dies of old age. What follows is a rollicking glimpse of adolescent pranks and dreams in a simpler time.

Russell is all boy, 15 years old and not yet out of the eighth grade. He hopes that his school will close down, leaving him and his best friend free to ride the rails to the wheat harvests in the Dakotas. To his chagrin, his older sister Tansy is given the position of schoolteacher, and no sheets in the bell tower or snakes in the desk drawer are going to deter her Tansy takes the task seriously...

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