Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea, is a book written from the perspectives of several students in the class of their brand new fifth grade teacher, Mr. Terupt. Each student is uniquely different from the other students at the beginning of the school year. As the school year progresses, the drama and conflict between the students increases. Throughout this entire time, due to the actions and words of Mr. Terupt, he earns their respect and admiration. In the winter, the students earn a free day, resulting in a serious accident which puts Mr. Terupt into the hospital. This results in the students coming together, accepting one another, and rallying around their beloved teacher.

Being a fifth grade teacher myself, I found myself laughing, tearing up, and unable to stop turning the pages as I connected with every single one of the students in this book. Connecting with the students is one of the biggest reasons I became a teacher, and I can tell that's why Mr. Terupt also became one as well. I admire Mr. Terupt's decisions to do certain classroom projects, like having his students spend time in the Collaborative Classroom with students with special needs. He also did some great projects in class, which I might even implement in my own classroom because I liked them so much.

Most importantly, this book is about the students. It is wonderful to see how the fifth graders grow closer together throughout the story. Fifth grade is a tough time for children this age because of the differences in families, growing maturity, and changes developmentally. This book was a great example of how all of those differences can work together to bond them together. Mr. Terupt is the centerpiece of that, but throughout the story, the students hint at a larger purpose of the reasons for why bad things happen in life. Sometimes God can work out bad situations for good!

Great book! I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

--Mr. Riedl