"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 teacher has passed on, they'll shut the school down entirely and leave him free to roam. No such luck. Russell has a particularly eventful season of schooling ahead of him, led by a teacher he never could have predicted--perhaps the only teacher equipped to control the likes of him: his sister Tansy. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and more than any classroom's share of snakes, Tansy will manage to keep that school alive and maybe, just maybe, set her brother on a new, wiser course. As he did in A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck creates a whole world of folksy, one-of-a-kind characters here--the enviable and the laughable, the adorably meek and the deliciously terrifying. There will be no forgetting Russell, Tansy, and all the rest who populate this hilarious, shrewd, and thoroughly enchanting novel.
About the Author
Richard Peck has written more than thirty novels, and in the process has become one of the country s most highly respected writers for children. In fact "The Washington Post" called him America s best living author for young adults. A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle-graders as well as young adults for his historical and contemporary comedies and coming-of-age novels. He lives in New York City, and spends a great deal of time traveling around the country to speaking engagements at conferences, schools, and libraries.
Mr. Peck is the first children s book author to have received a National Humanities Medal. He is a Newbery Medal winner (for "A Year Down Yonder"), a Newbery Honor winner (for "A Long Way from Chicago"), a two-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Edgar Award winner. In addition, he has won a number of major honors for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi.
“Peck is in his element here. [S]o vivid is the telling of every event, conversation, and emotion. Best of all, the dry wit and unpretentious tone make the story’s events comical, its characters memorable, and its conclusion unexpectedly moving.”—Booklist, starred review
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