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*Mr. Terupt Falls Again* by Rob Buyea - middle grades book review
Also by Rob Buyea:

Because of Mr. Terupt
Mr. Terupt Falls Again
by Rob Buyea
Ages 10-14 368 pages Delacorte October 2012 Hardcover    

After a terrible accident when he was teaching fifth grade, Mr. Terupt has recovered and is now teaching sixth grade to the same group of students he taught last year. Seven returning students tell the story of another event-filled year, each in their own voice. In this book, the action revolves mostly around the students, Mr. Terupt not the central focus of the story, but rather a respected, caring adult in the varied lives of his students.

Each student is unique—one wants to fail sixth grade, so he doesn’t have to go to boarding school; another lives with a family secret that no one will discuss. Still another wants to be a teenager so much that she gets involved with older friends who are smoking and drinking. The children are beginning to feel what it is like to grow up—facing difficult situations, changing bodies, first crushes and family problems.

Like Because of Mr. Terupt, there is a sense of anticipation in this book. The students are concerned about his health. Happily, there is no disaster, their teacher has fallen in love with the principal and the students are planning the wedding. Mr. Terupt connects the lessons of growing up to literature as they read and accomplish projects involving The Westing Game, Bridge to Terabithia and The Whipping Boy.

Best read as a companion novel, Mr. Terupt Falls Again includes references to characters and events in Because of Mr. Terupt, which may be difficult to understand without that background. The events in Mr. Terupt’s students’ lives are rather unusual—finding and eventually adopting a baby, the landownership problem involving Native Americans, and students actually planning a wedding for the teacher.

For readers who loved characters and caring in the first book, this book is a welcome addition.
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