Written by a high school biology teacher and wrestling coach, this is the story of a class of fifth grade kids and how their new teacher changes the patterns and norms of their lives at school and beyond. Mr. Terupt is the new teacher in town and the kids are the seasoned veterans of hand to hand combat, bathroom passes and the social pecking order.
Peter thinks he knows his way around any teacher, set of rules and kids in class but Mr. Terupt calls him on his act. Alexia is the queen bee who rules the social roost setting one girl against the other with one hand tied behind her back. Jeffrey is struggling with the loss of his brother and the subsequent depression of his parents. He has his own guilt as well as his parents gave birth to him for his bone marrow which his desperately ill older brother Michael needed to survive. The bone marrow failed.
Danielle is overweight and bullied constantly and Anna is quiet and sure of herself but has a skeleton in the family closet that keeps her at a distance from the others. Jessica is the new girl who is trying to find a place to belong in this cast of characters. One by one, the students feel the sensitive, understanding, and caring eye of Mr. Terupt who seems to intuitively "get" their personal challenges and struggle.
When a tragedy strikes, the lives converge in the waiting room of the hospital. Written in short chapters, taking one student's perspective at a time, this book follows in the footsteps of THE HOMEWORK MACHINE by Dan Gutman and never descends too far or rises too high. Will appeal to the girls who loves social situations as well as those who have empathy for others. 268 pages Ages 9-13