Buyea, Rob. Saving Mr. Terupt.
July 14th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Starting middle school is hard for Mr. Terupt's former students, for a variety of reasons. Danielle is mortified by some of her classmates, and is not feeling well for most of the year. Lexie manages to tone down her maturity, but has to deal with the illness of her mother. Anna keeps waiting for Charlie to propose to her mother. Jessica keeps her journal, and goes to a writing camp where she meets someone unexpected. Peter and Jeffrey are excited to be on the wrestling team, working with Mr. Bobur, their science teacher. Luke is having the hardest time-- he is taking advanced classes and so is not with his friends, and is getting picked on because of his small size and geekiness. There is a class election that pits Lexie against Peter, with the vote being taken in December. In addition to the various illnesses, Mrs. Terupt is pregnant and not doing well. The biggest issue, however, is the school budget. Even though the necessary cuts are explained to the local people, they don't care if Mr. Terupt, as the newest hire, loses his job. The students try very hard to save his job, but the levy fails. Not to worry, though-- help comes from an unexpected source.
Strengths: Finally, Mr. Buyea puts a good deal of wrestling details in a book, and the drama of middle school (from lockers to lunches) is nicely covered. A party that goes "wild" with kissing in a closet is an expecially nice touch. Fans of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again will be happy.
Weaknesses: While the wrestling is great, it can't be followed up with an episode detailing bra shopping! I'm never a fan of elections, and as far as school budgets go-- if you're the last hired, you're the last out, and it doesn't matter how good you are. I wish someone had explained that to the students. Their efforts are completely useless.
What I really think: While the first book goes out maybe once or twice a year, I didn't even buy the second book. These books always strike me as a teacher fantasy. We would all like to be remembered, but it's closer to the truth to think that students pretty much forget us the minute they walk out of the building in May.