Academic journal article New England Reading Association Journal

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

Academic journal article New England Reading Association Journal

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

Article excerpt

PECK, RICHARD. (2004). The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts. New York: Dial Books. ISBN 0-8037-2736-4.

Yes, it's true. The teacher, old Miss Myrt Arbuckle, opens this novel with her death and a funeral proceeds, but the real story here is not the funeral of a teacher but, rather, the birth of a new teacher who's been hired to take her place. Much to Russell Culver's dismay, the school board has conditionally hired his sister to take on the new position - just when Russell thought maybe, just maybe, they'd have to close the school and he could finally be rid of reading and writing forever. After all, he was nearly 16 and still trying to pass the eighth grade exam. If they didn't close the school, how would he ever get out?

The year is 1904 and there is only one teacher in this little bit of a country school, characterized only as "an out-of-date, unimproved, one-room country schoolhouse in the backwoodsiest corner of Indiana" (p. …

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