The year is 1904, and Russell is 15. Though he dreams of leaving small-town Indiana to become part of a large farm crew in the Dakotas, he's forced to stay in school, where his sister Tansy has just become the new teacher. Through the autumn, Russell observes the strange goings-on in the classroom, including a fight for Tansy's affection between a rough-and-tumble guy named Glenn and Russell's own best friend, Charlie. (Both will need to compete with a city slicker named Eugene who's in the area trying to sell an amazing new invention called the automobile.) By Thanksgiving, Tansy has become a full-fledged teacher and Russell has resigned himself to the student life. In the last chapter, we learn which man ultimately won Tansy's heart, and also who Russell ended up marrying.
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by John Steinbeck
by Michael Lewis
by Richard Powers
by Walter Isaacson
by Jonathan Franzen
by Richard Peck
by Dale Peck
by Dean Koontz
by Antonio J. Mendez, Matt Baglio
"A master of middle-grade historical fiction, Peck packs this book with history, quirky characters, humor, and poignancy. In turn-of-the-century Indiana, 15-year-old Russell dreams of escaping the dreary boredom of the one-room schoolhouse by jumping a train to the Dakotas. To his horror, his bossy, no-nonsense older sister has become the town's new teacher, and she is determined to see him finish high school. In a seamless performance, Dylan Baker becomes Russell. He convincingly brings each character to life, turning a great story into an even greater listening experience. This book is so laugh-out-loud funny that its depth sneaks up almost by surprise. E.S. 2005 ALA Notable Recording (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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