by Rob Buyea
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
This is the third, but probably not final, book in this series. (I didn’t write a review for book #2 but it was solid.) Mr. Terupt’s seven former students are back in their first year of junior high – and their first year without their favorite teacher. (Spoiler alert: in book 2, Mr. Terupt moves up a grade to continue to teach them.) The conflicts this time have grown up alongside the kids and are now getting into boy-girl relationship territory. One thing I liked was that one girl, Danielle, was watching it all happen from the sidelines – she asked her grandmother if it was normal that she wasn’t interested in boys yet, and the grandmother said it was just fine. Danielle is also the religious one and the chapters from her perspective are all in the form of prayers, but it’s not presented like she’s fanatical or extremely conservative; in fact, she’s so ashamed that she went into Victoria’s Secret but her mother is supportive. Also, the girl who seems most like an airhead takes a page out of Danielle’s book and starts to pray, which I thought was refreshing. The group ends up playing Seven Minutes in Heaven but no one ended up with the person they really liked and everyone’s feelings got hurt and they ended up not speaking to each other. It’s only when Mr. Terupt’s job is on the line due to budget cuts that they come together again to save him. There are a couple other storylines that would sort of be spoilers that involve another engagement and a baby) but all’s well that ends well. Another delightful, growthful school year for the gang.