by Rob BuyeaOverall: 5 out of 5 stars
Mr. Terupt is a first-year fifth-grade teacher who has the right answer to everything and his students love him. The story of their school year is told through alternating perspectives of 7 students. Each of the seven kids has a specific identity at school (new kid, nerd, loser) but has a lot more going on at home, and they learn how to cope with their problems by learning from each other. In the midst of all the great therapy-type work Mr. Terupt is doing, there is an accident at school that puts him in a coma and makes all the kids think it’s their fault. This book has been really popular at my library and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about and I was not disappointed. If all students could have teachers like Mr. Terupt, I think we’d have a much better society.
The only two things I didn’t like about this book were that some of the dialogue was not believable (most people speak using contractions, for example, and there’s one character who starts sentences with “like” – just was not the way I’ve ever heard it used, not that Buyea, a former teacher, doesn’t necessarily know a kid who talks like that, but it sounded forced to me), and that he waited SO long to resolve the coma situation. But overall it’s a great, feel-good read, if a bit distressing in parts. More sensitive kids might find the hospital scenes upsetting.