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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1904, and Russell is 15. Though he dreams of leaving small-town Indiana to become part of a large farm crew in the Dakotas, he's forced to stay in school, where his sister Tansy has just become the new teacher.

Through the autumn, Russell observes the strange goings-on in the classroom, including a fight for Tansy's affection between a rough-and-tumble guy named Glenn and Russell's own best friend, Charlie. (Both will need to compete with a city slicker named Eugene who's in the area trying to sell an amazing new invention called the automobile.)

By Thanksgiving, Tansy has become a full-fledged teacher and Russell has resigned himself to the student life. In the last chapter, we learn which man ultimately won Tansy's heart, and also who Russell ended up marrying.

©2004 Richard Peck; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"In a seamless performance, Dylan Baker becomes Russell. He convincingly brings each character to life, turning a great story into an even greater listening experience. This book is so laugh-out-loud funny that its depth sneaks up almost by surprise." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sort of boring

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

no, tried listening to it with my 10 year old--both of us thought it was dull

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

semi-sentimental depiction of rural life 100 years ago

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Slow start but worth the Listen!

I didn't think I'd finish this book at first, but I'm glad I did. This is a slice of Midwest Americana at the turn of the 20th century. The story is of a one room school house for a bunch of kids in a rural Indiana farming community. Dylan Baker's character voices were excellent and the writing painted pictures of farm strong folk. I wanted to know a little more about some things, but I guess it is better to be left wanting rather than the alternative.

This is a great short listen if you are looking for one!

  • Overall
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  • Story

Much to Learn From This One

This is a "growing up" novel, a story of how things seem one way at certain points in our lives, but because of circumstances, we start to see things, events and mostly people in a different light. We are all a little inclined not to want things to change, and yet when they do, we often come to see that the change was needed and it turns out to be life changing in a good way. So it is with this story. The good news for the school children is that their "mean" teacher dies the day before school starts. The bad news is the new teacher could turn out to be worse than the old one. Everyone learns and grows from this experience and builds a lot of character in the children in the process.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Makes you yearn for the one-room schoolhouse days

If you could sum up The Teacher's Funeral in three words, what would they be?

Funny, touching, nostalgic.

What other book might you compare The Teacher's Funeral to and why?

A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder. I've read most all of Peck's books and they all give you a touch of what life was life years ago. This one doesn't have as many laugh out loud moments like the Grandma Dowdel character from those two, but the antics of the brothers at school are loads of fun.

What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a good job of making the characters seem real.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Education lasts for life.

Any additional comments?

I read this book every year with my middle school students and they always love it. I also play some of the audio book version for them. It's a delightful story with lots of humor and some great lessons in life. (Not to mention the segue into some great history lessons. This book prompted me to take a trip to visit Parke County Indiana to visit the covered bridges and see some of the places mentioned in the book.