Peck, Richard. 2004. THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL: A COMEDY IN THREE PARTS. New York: Dial. ISBN 0803727364
With a winning opening line--"If you're teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it" --THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL is off to a great start. Set in 1904, Russell Culver, fifteen, narrates this hilarious novel about his family, his community--and above all else--his experiences at Hominy Ridge, the local one room schoolhouse. Miss Myrt Arbuckle, the former teacher, died weeks before school was supposed to begin. And no one could have been happier than the Culver boys Russell and Lloyd. . . that is until they realized that their older sister Tansy would be taking her place as teacher! With Tansy in charge, Russell soon learned that he couldn't get away with anything.
THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL has everything you need for a successful novel: great writing (particularly his descriptions and dialogue), great characterization (including both primary and secondary characters), and great pacing. Peck sure knows how to tell a story. THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL is one of the best books of the year. It is a book that begs to be read aloud over and over again. (There is an audio book available as well.)
Review by Becky Laney, frequent contributor.Becky's Book Reviews: http://blbooks.blogspot.com/
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