Parents' Guide to

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Funny, fascinating, and exquisite historical tale.

Book Richard Peck Humor 2004
The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+


Well for starters, I had to read this for school. I grew up in Alabama (heart of Dixie), live in Pell City now and I absouletly love this book. Many people dislike it because of 2 things. (1. They are city people who can't relate to this book because it's written for the country people who know a thing or two true about the country. (2. With today's society in the country, it's almost all "CITY"now. I think this book displays humor and heart felt words in 1 little book. I can relate to Russel because I did dearly dread school till my older days. Not only did it tell about the simple tale of a country family but it also did it with the old truth. If the wife dies, the father usally asks the sister to marry if not already married. Lloyd, or the other other usually act different and usually more different. Floyd, the suspected idiot, blows their minds with an amazing talent in art. Tansy is not all bad as she seems. Glenn makes the mighty name of Tarbox shine with his talents. Aunt Maud makes your mind shine when revealed to be the Sweet Singer of the town, and your mind can't take anymore and blows up when you find that Little Briches marries Russel near the end. I really recomend this book if you have the money and time.
age 10+

Family Fun Reading

My little brother who is 13 years old had to read this book for school. At first, he did not like it, but once my mother and I started reading it, he really became interested in the story line. The humor can sometimes be overlooked if you are speeding through the book which I think is why my brother didn't like it originally, but we ended up reading the whole book in a day. The three of us sat around and read aloud by taking turns. We laughed and learned new words. Its set in a time that agriculture was prominent I suppose, but there was an emphasis on the importance of education and not allowing others to decide for you whether or not you should like learning and do certain things. The author did a wonderful job of making you feel as if you were there with the characters. When Tansy would get after her brothers, you were apprehensive for them. When Aunt Fanny fell into the ditch, you were there trying not to laugh and help them haul up the big woman. When Tansy was being tested for her teacher's certificate and the children were questioned on what they were learned, you were worried with the characters and rooting for them to do well. When Russell and Glenn burned their eyebrows off, you could see their ashen faces and the dread that poured over them when they realized what they had done to the school room. The last chapter is what really tied the whole book together, and it was a great ending! It is a great family read! You can't but help identify people in your family with the characters in the book. My brother kept on saying when Tansy would do certain things, "That is you sis!" It was an enjoyable day of reading.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (5):

Almost uniquely among comic novelists for children, Peck appeals to the head and the heart, as well as the funny bone, all without pandering to his readers' baser instincts. THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL has all the elements we've come to expect from Richard Peck: wicked wit conveyed in crackling, razor-sharp prose; a setting in a time and place unfamiliar to most readers; a depth, complexity, and compassion rare in comic novels; wise elders; vivid characters who are determined individualists; and subtle underlying messages that make his books terrific for discussion groups.

Peck makes his readers laugh out loud while watching children solve their own problems, but he does it in exquisite prose, filled with fascinating period detail, and without the usual writer's tricks of getting rid of the adults or making them useless. Now there's a writer's trick more authors need to learn.

Book Details

  • Author: Richard Peck
  • Genre: Humor
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Publication date: October 20, 2004
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
  • Number of pages: 190
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate