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Monday, November 17, 2014

Because of Mr. Terupt

Buyea, Ron. 2010. BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT. New York: Delacorte.

Mr. Terupt is a new 5th grade teacher at Snow Hill School in Connecticut. This story, told through the voices of seven students in his class, documents how their new teacher affects their lives, and in turn, they affect his after an accident. 

Each chapter is told from a different point of view of one of the seven students. There's Peter, the class clown; Luke, the smart kid; Jeffrey, who is withdrawn and hates school; Jessica, the new girl; Alexia, the 'mean girl'; Danielle, who doesn't stand up for herself; and Anna, who is an outcast because of her family situation. 

The students tell their different sides of events as the year goes on, and it is clear that Mr. Terupt is having an effect on all of them in different ways. Mr. Terupt confronts Alexia when he sees how manipulative and mean she is to her friends. He asks his class to go work with special needs students, and Jeffrey and Peter surprise everyone with how they connect with the students in that class. After an accident happens (I won't give any spoilers!) the students realize that Mr. Terupt taught them more about life than they realized. 

I liked how the story was told from different points of view. This seems to be a popular thing for writers to do these days. This was a little bit more confusing because of the seven different points of view, but after learning more about the characters it became easier to keep up with who was who.

The first half of the book was great, but I felt like the 2nd half sort of ran out of steam. The ending was satisfactory, but I wanted a little bit more information. The strength of this book is in the characters. Even though the chapters are short, Mr. Buyea truly finds the voice of each one. They are all identifiable, too - there are probably kids like these sitting right beside you in class right now.

This was an easy and good read, if you need a break from your fantasy and dystopian books!

Keep 'on reading,
Mrs. Cox

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