“It’s our bad luck to have teachers in this world, but since we’re stuck with them, the best we can do is hope to get a brand-new one instead of a mean old fart. New teachers don’t know the rules, so you can get away with things the old-timers would squash you for.” This opening line is spoken by Peter, the prankster of his grade five class. There’s also Jessica, the new girl, who always has a book in her hand; Luke, who loves school and gets all As; Alexia, the gossip and troublemaker who starts girl wars; Jeffrey, who hates school; Danielle who doesn’t know how to stand up for herself; and Anna , the outcast– no one ever goes to her house after school.
But when they do get a new teacher(Mr. Terupt), they soon realize he’s not your average rookie. At first they don’t know what to make of Mr. Terupt. He doesn’t let them get away with much, but he still makes the classroom a fun place to be. He has rules, but they seem much easier to follow. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the seven students. And then one day, an accident happens that changes everything.
This book really reminded me about some of the special teachers I’ve known in my life. What made Mr. Terupt so special? I love how he handled the students. He was respectful, even when he was disciplining. He knew how to empower the students so they could help themselves. He made learning fun. He even made math fun! He had a good sense of humour. We can’t know what happens each day before and after our students come to school, but it’s good to know that teachers like Mr. Terupt are there for them. We all know teachers like this. This book is great for grades 4-6, and will lead to some good discussions.
Reviewed by Maria Martella.