Title: What Mr. Mattero Did
Author: Priscilla Cummings
Number of Pages: 216
Date Read: October 8, 2012
Genre: Young Adult (YA)
Synopsis (Found on Goodreads.com):
What happens next is chaos. Parents are called. A teacher is accused and attacked. The gossip mill churns like mad. Police arrive to question other students, beginning with Melody, Mr. Mattero's daughter. Did Mr. Mattero do anything improper, or are the girls simply lying? Told from two points of view, Claire's and Melody's, this novel takes readers into their private middleschool worlds as the girls struggle to discover the truth.
*May Contain Spoilers*
This book was ok. It showed the other side of sexual abuse allegations and how it affects the person being accused and their family, especially if they didn't do it.
In the beginning I liked Claire and I thought that Mr. Mattero really did abuse them. Right off the bat I didn't like Jenna. She was really pushy and bossy, telling their girls that they had to go to the principal before their mothers. And not to mention the fact that Jenna persuaded the girls to fabricate the abuse so she can get attention from her mom. I mean come on. How did Claire and Suzanne get talked into that. They had absolutely no backbone when it came to Jenna. And when Claire finally grew a backbone it was too damn late- she already ruined Mr. Mattero's life. I mean I get that kids are under peer pressure n all that but come on. I was a kid too and I would NEVER let someone talk me into something so serious like that just for attention or to get out of someone's class. I had common sense.
It was ridiculous that Claire didn't think that police were going to be called or that Mr. Mattero would get fired or that anything serious would happen b/c of their accusations. I find it hard to believe that she only thought that the principal would change them out of Mr. Mattero's class. Where the hell has Claire been living, under a rock? Is she that stupid that she didn't realize the consequences of what she said?
I like Melody's character because her character shows that its not only the person being accused that suffers. If that person has a family, they all suffer.
As the book went on I liked Claire less and less until I couldn't stand her. As the book went on and let on that the girls lied, I hoped that Claire, Suzanne and Jenna would be arrested for lying. In the book, the officer Daniels said that the girls would be tried in juvie court and probably get community service for basically ruining a person's life and career bc they were bored. I find it hard to believe that that will be their only punishment. I haven't looked online or anything but I think there are more severe punishments for reporting a false claim. If there's not, there should be.
I pretty ticked off about this book b/c I am a teacher and I know that no teacher can come back from an allegation like that, even if they didn't do it and the accusers confessed that they were lying. Their would always be doubt about the situation among the parents and teachers. The school may even not allow the teacher to come back so they can be on the safe side. I work with pre-k kids and even at that young age they can be sneaky and lie; I see it everyday. Once a kid says something like that about a teacher, its over, no matter who is on your side. The kids can easily say something like that because they don't like you or you told them not to do something or you scolded them or for any number of reasons. Its scary how words can change someone's life forever.