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Summary: After learning about their teacher’s death over the summer, Russell and the rest of the kids believe their dreams of no school for their small town have finally come true. That is, until Russell’s sister Tansy offers to teach the students as part of her training to earn her teaching license. Outraged, Russell and his partners-in-cahoots attempt to force Tansy to give up on trying to teach them. However, Tansy goes ten better and teaches the kids to love learning in ways they least expect and to expect more from themselves than they had ever learned. This is a humorous story for upper elementary and middle grade readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: The tricks the kids pulled to trip up Tansy were hilarious. Also, I loved the trial the superintendents put Tansy and her students through and how they all came through with flying colors. They gave the school board much more than they were expecting to witness. There wasn’t much to dislike about this book, except some parts may have been a little too graphic, such as killing the pig and the fight between the two boys over Tansy’s affections. I would recommend this for fourth and fifth graders.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Lots of tricks and pranks will make you laugh out loud in this story set in school.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. It is a great book to get from the library. It’s not as funny as some of Richard Peck’s other books, but it will make you want to read other books by the author.