Book Review: Because of Mr. Terupt

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Because of Mr. Terupt 

Written by Rob Buyea
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 6, 2010
Genre/Topics: Realistic Fiction, School, Peer Relations 
Ages: 8+, 288 pages 


Mr. Terupt is the new fifth grade teacher at Snow Hill Elementary School. The book takes the perspective of seven unique classmates in Mr. Terupt’s class. Jessica is the smart new girl; Alexia is your bully or friend; Peter is the troublemaker; Luke is the class brain; Danielle lacks confidence; Anna has a difficult home life; and Jeffrey dislikes school. Each student has his or her own problems and joys about everyday events and classroom situations told from their perspective. Mr. Terupt is a fresh and new teacher who connects with each student. He tries new things and lets the students think for themselves. Until the awful day when an accident occurs that changes everyone.

I really enjoyed Because of Mr. Terupt. We’ve all had that one special teacher that made a difference in our life. (Hopefully, more than one teacher.) The teacher that made us feel special or we tried something new and exciting for the first time. The students in Mr. Terupt’s class changed because of him. It almost made me cry. It’s a heartfelt book that can spark conversation. I recommend this book.


One thought on “Book Review: Because of Mr. Terupt

    Marlin C. Vaughn said:
    January 12, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (Delacorte, 2010) Mr. Terupt is a rookie fifth grade teacher. The kids in his first-ever class think this could be a good thing; new teachers are easy – they don’t come down as hard on kids as old teachers. However, Mr. Terupt’s students soon learn he’s not just any teacher. Mr. Terupt has different ideas about kids and learning, and very little gets past him. He seems to notice everything. But it isn’t until a horrible accident occurs on the playground that the students learn the most important lesson of all. This story is told in seven voices over the course of the school year. Each of the kids – four girls and three boys – has a problem that needs solving or a secret that’s harder and harder to keep. As the school year progresses and the kids get to learn more and more about each other, friendships form and shift, and the class learns important lessons beyond reading and math. At first I had a hard time keeping the voices straight, but soon the kids’ personalities came through and I didn’t even have to look at the names at the beginning of each chapter. I’m not sure I would have heard about this book if it hadn’t been for a posting by Paul W. Hankins over at the Centurions of 2011 Facebook group. This isn’t one that’s gotten a lot of buzz on Twitter that I’ve seen. I’m really glad I happened upon this title because it’s a book I think kids (especially middle graders) will connect with. Right now my fourth grade daughter is experiencing many friend issues, much like the “girl wars” in this book. I plan on handing her this book later on today and telling her I’d like to talk about it when she finishes. I have a feeling talking about this book will help her to find ways to talk about what’s going on with her and her friends in a different way.

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