Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: Because of Mr. Terupt

What an enjoyable first novel!  Rob Buyea has taken his experiences with teaching kids and poured them into a delightful glimpse at a classroom full of unique individuals and touching moments.  This novel features seven different narrators (each with blossoming personalities) who tell the story of an incredible year with an incredible teacher, Mr. Terupt:  A new girl, a bully, a prankster, a brain, an overweight girl, a girl with a very young mother, and a boy whose life has been altered by the death of his brother.  Of course, central to the story is the wonderful teacher who sees them all as individuals and helps them, even if by accident, to become better people.

This novel certainly nails the voices of distinct characters and draws you into the plot fairly quickly.  As you watch events unfold, leading up to a telling accident which puts everything on pins and needles, you begin to see how each action provides a ripple effect into the lives of everyone else.  Moreover, this book holds important lessons for young readers.  I was appreciative of the faith interwoven through the story, despite being published by a secular publishing company.  I was also appreciative that the individuals with faith were shown to be human, with their share of faults and failings.

This was a wonderful story.  Well written and well worth the telling.  It would make a wonderful read-aloud for a classroom of young students in grades 3-5.  You can find lesson plans and quizzes for the book on-line.  Plus, I was thrilled to see a sequel to the book, called Mr. Terupt Falls Again.

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