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The Teacher's Funeral : A Comedy in Three Parts
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The Teacher's Funeral : A Comedy in Three Parts

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  3,697 Ratings  ·  565 Reviews
"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 teache ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Dial Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Rita Crayon Huang
Aug 18, 2007 Rita Crayon Huang rated it really liked it
I just had the oddest experience. I read this book this week without realizing I'd read it before. This has sometimes happened with books that aren't very good (I block them out), but this book is great! And I hadn't forgotten it, exactly; all the details kept coming back to me about three pages in that I kept thinking I must have only had time to read PART of the book in the past but would soon get to where I didn't remember. But...nope. I got to the very end and even the final lin ...more
A very enjoyable read. I felt I was just listening to a man tell a few anecdotes from his teen years about how the old teacher died, and how his sister worked to become the new teacher. I love the ol' hometown feel to the book. And the humor was honest, simple, and hilarious. All of it was realistic and nostalgic. I just really liked it. This is the second book I've read (listened to) by Peck. And I've noticed that they start out all right, then somewhere along the way I find myself completely e ...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Feb 16, 2014 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, eng_2014
Sì. Scelgo i libri dal titolo e quindi non potevo perdermi questo libro XD

Dopo l'ennesimo BEL libro che quasi sicuramente non vedremo mai in Italia ho preso una decisione: se un giorno diventerò sufficientemente ricca (diciamo anche schifosamente ricca.. Del genere che i dubbi esistenziali sono se prendere il sole in Brasile o alle Hawaii), aprirò una casa editrice che pubblicherà opere straniere che le nostre si sono fatte sfuggire, pubblicandole a prezzi irrisori..
E proporrò sicuramente questo
Nov 15, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it
This was a read-aloud book for the family and we all enjoyed it. Buckling under pressure I read it in my best Hoosier accent. The book was well written, humorous and understated. Like the characters on its pages the story makes no attempt to be more than it is and, therefore, becomes all the better.
Mar 01, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book must be read out loud. The eulogy had me laughing so hard tears were pouring down my face.
Mar 14, 2011 Christian rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
It's been a while since I've read something by Peck. As usual, he doesn't disappoint with what I look for in his books. I like that he tells stories from an earlier time, that he brings value to simpler lives. There is no grand plot that must be resolved in this book. The characters don't have grand flaws. Instead, you get a book with likable characters and you get to see a slice of their lives. In this instance, it's Russell's dreams for his future and his sister's efforts to become a good teac ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
I definitely prefer A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, but this one was still good. I didn't find it particularly funny but Peck's style and way of incorporating characters makes a lovely read.
Oct 01, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I read this book aloud to my children and I would sometimes laugh so hard that I couldn't go on for a minute or two. Seriously, Richard Peck is hilarious. I love his books and I love to read them to my kids, but this one just really tickled my funny bone. I don't know if I would have found it to be as funny if I'd read it to myself silently. But hearing those lines out loud just compounded the funny.
Miguel Marquez
Oct 21, 2014 Miguel Marquez rated it it was ok
If your teacher died would you go visit him or her.

This book is fiction because It didn't happen .The time period is in the 1900's and it in Indiana.The main character is Lloyd and Charles.Charles want to see his teacher at the funeral.But Llyod doesn't want to see his teacher.The type of Charles vs Llyod. the Llyod change by going to the funeral.I can relate to the character Llyod because he like this change his mind at the last second sometime that me i change my mind at the the last second.
Feb 18, 2015 Chazzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
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 lear
Beverly Kennett
Russel Culver thinks his prayers are answered when the strict teacher in his one room schoolhouse, with barely enough students to keep it open, passess away in August. He hopes that the school will close, so he and his best friend can leave their fathers' farms in Indiana to travel to North Dakota, where the farms are much bigger and the equipment and farming methods much more modern. Unfortunately, Russel's older sister is hired to replace the teacher. His dreams of travel are shattered when so ...more
Madeeha (D-ha)
Mar 05, 2012 Madeeha (D-ha) rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was awesome! One time I was sitting in english and my english/ advisor asked me what book I was reading since it was a writing workshop. I told her I was reading the teacher's funeral and she freaked. I thought overall this book is amazing. I like how it's funny and it's basically about getting rid of a teacher but then getting a new one which sucks. This book really captures how students wish to get rid of their teachers but in reality the student doens't actually want to ki ...more
Young Reader Reaction: The tricks the kids pulled to trip up Tansy were hilarious. Also, I loved the trial the superintendents put Tansy and her students through and how they all came through with flying colors. They gave the school board much more than they were expecting to witness. There wasn’t much to dislike about this book, except some parts may have been a little too graphic, such as killing the pig and the fight between the two boys over Tansy’s affections. I would recommend this for fou ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 30, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I just love Richard Peck! Ever since "The Day No Pigs Would Die" as a girl, and his books just keep getting funnier, and yet just as touching.
Nov 04, 2014 Jennytang rated it it was ok
I like the beginning. However, the ending is weird and the author didn't tell us everything he foreshadowed.
Kim Piddington
Aug 05, 2016 Kim Piddington rated it it was amazing
I loved this book-not only as a reader, but as a writer. Great mentor text for character building!
Dec 15, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This was a cute and humorous read about a little schoolhouse in Indiana at the turn of the century.
Apr 25, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
You're not supposed to laugh at the news of someone's death, but in 1904 rural Indiana, the news comes to 15-year-old Russell Culver wrapped in a practical joke that did make me laugh. Indeed, so many things made me laugh in this book that pauses to catch my breath probably accounted for one-third of the time I spent reading it. It is the story of a boy's coming of age in a one-room country school where his bossy older sister is (suddenly) the teacher, told by an expert humorist with an ear for ...more
This story offers a nostalgic, and very humorous look at life in rural Indiana in the early years of the twentieth century. The narrative is told from the perspective of a young boy who wants nothing more than for his school to close down and to escape to the endless skies of the Dakotas.

I picked this book up at our local library on a whim. I was looking for a story that would entertain the whole family (including my husband) and one that would only be a few discs long, so we could listen to th
Apr 07, 2014 Patti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to a cold rain storm today, I sat by my warm fire and finished “The Teacher’s Funeral A Comedy in Three Parts”, a not-so-long book from one of my favorite authors, Richard Peck. A solid 4 1/2 stars from me!

Despite the curious and ironic title, it falls closely behind a couple of my All-Time Favorites by Peck: “A Long Way From Chicago” (Newbery Honor Award); and “A Year Down Yonder” (Newbery Award Winner). Both a couple of the funniest books I have ever read!

Set in small town Indiana duri
Jan 08, 2009 Allen rated it it was amazing
The first half was really enjoyable, so I thought this book was heading for a solid 4 stars. And then came the second half of the book.

I'll admit, that as a BIG education proponent, I loved the book. However, for me, what really raised it to 5 stars was the the incredible wit of Richard Peck. I actually laughed out loud in parts. Plus, you get a nice bonus of rich understanding in the last paragraph in the book.

It was just great.
Jul 08, 2016 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Love Richard Peck's writing. Feel I am there where most people still use horse and buggy for transport and a car is a special thing to see. Loved all the games the kids played on the teacher especially when the teacher was the older sister of two of the kids. Tough to deal with. Funny and old time feel like Little House books and show but with some autos!! read three hours for summer reading program
Apr 12, 2016 Nithila rated it liked it
I really wanted to finish this book so I will not have any abandoned books, but it turned out to be a pretty good book! I don't what it was about the book, but I liked it.
Jeffrey Brannen
What at first seems to be just a slapstick first-person narrative turns out to be a touching and engaging story of self sacrifice and deep family love. Characters that appear one-dimensional at first (really a function of the limited knowledge and relative innocence of the narrator), developed into highly complex people.

The story is told from Russell Culver's point of view. He's a teenager on a poor farm in 1904 in Indiana. Education is meaningless to him and he'd rather do anything but go back
Jan 09, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! It made me laugh out loud. My husband heard me laugh so often that he had to listen to the audio CD edition as well. Then I would hear him laughing and would have to run to see which part he was hearing. Highly recommended!
Kenzie M
Dec 01, 2015 Kenzie M rated it it was ok
I liked this one!!!
Reading Challenge #13: A book by an author you’ve never read before

This is about half-witted… half-wild… Hoosier… hicks. Nah, not really. Only the Hoosier part was true. and the hicks. it's quite funny actually. and full of surprises. I thought Russell's dad was awesome with his playing fair rule. but it shocked me that it wasn't like that at all. Other than Mr. Culver talk with Russell in Montezuma, my favorite part was when Tansy said, "It’s high time you stopped being little brother to me and
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What happens when the teacher dies just before school opens?
A boy learns the problems and benefits to having his sister teach the one-room school in 1904 Indiana.
May 28, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Oh my word.

The opening paragraph (which I read at work) had me in stitches...
It doesn't take much to read this book with a Tennessee accent (they tell you that right off) and therein lies half the laughter.
There is plenty to say about this story, it's set in 1909, the womenfolk are tougher than you might think and the boys more gullible than you might imagine.

This was awesome enough, I think I'm going to round up a couple more copies and force my friends to read parts with me...or make them li
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Richard Peck is an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder.

Richard Peck was born in 1934 in Decatur, Illinois, a town he describes as quiet and safe. His mother, Virginia, was a dietitian and his father, Wayne, was a merchant who often rode his Harley Davidson to work.

More about Richard Peck...

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“Why she hankered to be a teacher, I couldn't tell you. But she had chalk dust in her veins, and she deserved to get that certificate. It was only fair.” 4 likes
“The sobs came then, faster than she could swallow. A teacher dares not cry, not a real teacher.” 3 likes
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