Looping with his students into sixth grade, Mr. Terupt continues to surprise them with challenging projects and perfect reading suggestions, but there are still aftereffects from the snowball Peter threw.
As in Because of Mr. Terupt (2010), short chapters narrated by seven students describe the year, their final one at Snow Hill School. Peter plays with failure, hoping not to have to leave his classmates for seventh grade in boarding school. Lexie hurries to grow up, egged on by some dangerous older friends, but Danielle is the first to get her period. Jeffrey finds an abandoned baby and an outlet for his anger in wrestling. Anna and her mother learn to be senior-citizen caregivers as volunteers in a medical facility. Luke may have saved a life with his Boy Scout skills, and Jessica provides continuity with her screenplays and voiceover comments. Family worries go along with lingering questions about the health of their teacher. Sixth-grade relationships and a grown-up romance, lessons in tolerance and a fairy-tale ending make this an exceptionally satisfying school story. Mr. Terupt seems unusually skilled and perceptive, but the student voices are spot-on. Readers will be better equipped if they attended fifth grade with this true-to-life yet timeless group, but this sequel can be read on its own.
Moving and real. (Fiction. 9-12)