by Rob Buyea
First sentence: “It was one of those farts that stunk so back you could taste it.”
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Review copy snagged from the ARC shelves at work.
Others in the series: Because of Mr. Terupt
Mr. Terupt is back with his class — including our narrators Peter, Alexia, Luke, Jessica, Anna, Danielle, and Jeffrey — for a sixth grade year. Like last year, there are small conflicts within the class. Alexia is on the verge of running wild, wanting to act older than her age. Jeffrey finds an abandoned baby by the side of the road. Peter is dealing with pressure from his parents to attend a private junior high and high school, something that he doesn’t want to do. Danielle’s family is dealing with some sort of external lawsuits, and her period starts. In addition, Mr. Terupt hasn’t fully recovered from his accident last year. And he asks Ms. Newberry to marry him, turning the wedding plans over to his class.
In short: it’s another eventful year for Mr. Terupt and his class.
Much like the first one, this is a good novel. There are a lot of discussion points, the use of the mulitple narrators gives a unique voice to the story, and I appreciated Buyea’s use of classic middle grade books. However, I think the biggest drawback to this one is that while all the elements of the first book are there, it really seems been there, done that. Mr. Terupt is still a great teacher, caring immensely for his students. The conflicts are still small ones, and the kids are still learning how to be grown up. In short: it’s pretty much the same book all over again.
I’m with Ms. Yingling on this one: we need more wrestling stories and fewer about wonderful teachers and their classes.