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.