March 13, 2011
Because of Mr. Terupt - by Rob Buyea
This is the story of Mr. Terupt, a new 5th grade teacher, and his class. That's all. They're just ordinary kids, each different from the next in both obvious and more hidden ways, and they get along just like any classroom, which is not always so well. The magic is in how Mr. Terupt takes these oddballs and turns their lives around. He is one of those (fictional, sadly) teachers who have the knack for not only making learning fun, but for helping children find the best in themselves and learn to see things in a whole new light. He's the teacher I would like to be. Until the accident, that is. Midway through the year something happens, something so horrible and unforeseen that it shakes the class to their very core, and things may never be the same.
I really can't say more, except that readers will surely not be disappointed. This new author is also a teacher, and understands that short chapters can sometimes be the most powerful. The book is told from alternating points of view of seven different students, like many other books (such as The Homework Machine), and this style is perfect for the story. Pick this up and you'll cheer, cry, scratch your head, and a wince. It's simply unforgettable. I would especially recommend this to teachers, but students are bound to love it just as much.