Friday, September 28, 2012

Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

I know, another kiddie book. Next time I’ll read War and Peace or Moby Dick.

What a neato book! The author, Rob Buyea, looks like the guy next door, or the cool young teacher at your elementary school. He actually did teach 3rd and 4th grades before switching to high school, according to the book jacket bio. I have a feeling this book, which is realistic fiction, is a bit autobiographical and that Buyea is a very perceptive teacher.

Because of Mr. Terupt is cleverly narrated by seven 5th graders, alternating their points of view. Similar to Flipped, the same events are revealed through their different voices. The story unfolds as the students (a drama queen, nerd, prankster, new girl, outcast, etc.) describe the events taking place in their classroom. Mr. Terupt is a first-year teacher, of which the kids are initially skeptical. They quickly realize how lucky they are to have such a special teacher who not only makes learning fun, but touches their lives and challenges them to be better. These kids deal with some heavy personal issues. It’s interesting to see how those issues affect the way they respond to school.

Because of Mr. Terupt is the author’s first novel. My daughter’s school librarian highly recommended it, advising her to keep a box of tissues handy. I think it’s a great read for 5th grade (boys and girls) up to adult. It’s unique and touching.

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