Sunday, October 19, 2014

Because of Mr Terupt by Rob Buyea

For a few months I have been reading a conversation about this book online. Opinions have ranged from high praise to readers who find all sorts of story faults.  The discussion made me curious so I bought this book for our school library.  We will add this title to our Year Six only loan category because it does contain a few mature concepts.

Because of Mr Terupt was published in 2010 so it is not a new book but it was new to me.

If you have read Adam Canfield of the Slash, The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary, or The View from Saturday you will be familiar with the format used in this book where each chapter explores a different voice.

In this story there are seven students in the class.  Actually I am sure there must be more than seven students but we do not meet them or hear about them.  Mr Terupt is a new and very special teacher. Each student has 'issues'.

Girls - Jessica is new and adjusting to her parents separation, Anna is an intelligent but shy girl with a family history that makes her the outcast.  Alexia is the 'cool' girl but maintaining this means she is a bully.

Boys - Luke is the class brain who enjoys thinking challenges especially the one called 'dollar words', Peter is the class clown and joker, and Jeffrey has a deep and very sad secret which makes him a loner.

Over the course of the year Mr Terupt and his students make discoveries about themselves and about each other.  We know from the beginning, though, that disaster is coming.

The school year is marked by the months and by the different assignments the students complete including counting the number of blades of grass in the whole soccer field.

I did enjoy Because of Mr Terupt but I recommend trying to read the book in a short time.  It is quite easy to lose track of the seven voices.  There is a sequel but it is more appropriate for an older audience.

Here is the author web site where you can see a list of all the awards this book has won.  You might enjoy a  trailer based on the book blurb.  Here is a better one - students in US schools make trailers as book responses and this one is well done.  Here is a set of very detailed teaching notes.  If you need a further idea - Anna always has a book in her hand.  Her reading list is excellent and these books would be popular in a senior primary classroom.

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