Reviews for Because of Mr. Terupt


Booklist Reviews 2010 October #2
Mr. Terupt follows in the footsteps of those inspiring teachers who encourage their students to think for themselves, question the conventions they understand about school, and become better people. The narration here is shared by so many that it is hard for readers to feel similarly inspired, but what they'll get instead is the school-year-long unfolding of each of seven fifth-graders as they face their own flaws, come to terms with their home lives, and reconcile their roles in a tragic accident that nearly takes the life of their beloved teacher, hinted at with the innocuous-looking snowball on the front cover. Some voices ring less true than others, which is a shame, since all of the characters have something important to say. Despite its flaws, this is a compelling novel with brief--sometimes very brief--chapters, which keep the story moving. Readers will find much to ponder on the power of forgiveness in Buyea's meditative first novel. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
An unconventional, hands-on fifth-grade teacher frustrates authority figures but inspires seven students, from the class clown to the new girl in school. Short chapters narrated in turn by each student recount classroom projects and tell the characters' personal stories. Each student's personality and backstory is distinctive; the narrative voices, however, aren't always distinguishable. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #2

During a school year in which a gifted teacher who emphasizes personal responsibility among his fifth graders ends up in a coma from a thrown snowball, his students come to terms with their own issues and learn to be forgiving. Told in short chapters organized month-by-month in the voices of seven students, often describing the same incident from different viewpoints, this weaves together a variety of not-uncommon classroom characters and situations: the new kid, the trickster, the social bully, the super-bright and the disaffected; family clashes, divorce and death; an unwed mother whose long-ago actions haven't been forgotten in the small-town setting; class and experiential differences. Mr. Terupt engineers regular visits to the school's special-needs classroom, changing some lives on both sides. A "Dollar Word" activity so appeals to Luke that he sprinkles them throughout his narrative all year. Danielle includes her regular prayers, and Anna never stops her hopeful matchmaking. No one is perfect in this feel-good story, but everyone benefits, including sentimentally inclined readers. (Fiction. 9-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 May/June
For seven students at Snow Hill School, life will never be the same as they begin 5th grade with their new teacher, Mr. Terupt. School becomes fun with Mr. Terupt's unusual assignments and activities, and he knows how to deal with their disagreements. One day, after being bullied, Peter throws a snowball which accidentally hits Mr. Terupt in the head. He ends up in a coma requiring brain surgery. With Mr. Terupt still in a coma that spring, the students begin to understand the impact their teacher has made on their relationships. On the last day of school, Mr. Terupt returns after a remarkable recovery. This is a sensitive, fast-moving story that deals with issues of life and death. The seven students are narrators, providing short, month-by-month, humorous and serious perspectives of what's happening. By the end of 5th grade, with Mr. Terupt's guidance, the students understand not only themselves and others better, but they realize the importance of forgiveness. This story is a perf ct read-aloud with many themes for group discussion. Highly Recommended. Judean A. Wise, Library Media Specialist, Woodworth Middle School, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #3

In this skillfully constructed first novel, Buyea conveys the impact that an inspiring new teacher has on his fifth-grade class through the alternating voices of seven complex students, including class clown Peter, thoughtful new student Jessica, relentlessly teased Danielle, and mean-girl Alexia ("Mom told me... ‘Alexia, don't let people push you around like your father did to us. You take charge and fight back.' So there's no way I'm going back to being nice"). For the most part, Mr. Terupt's unconventional teaching style proves capable of reaching even his most difficult students as the year progresses; his gentle guidance leads to some potent lessons about tolerance, self-advocacy, and responsibility. However, some in the community disapprove of his lax disciplinary measures and hands-on educational methods. When an accident during a snowball fight lands Mr. Terupt in the hospital, readers--like students in the class--are left to decide who, if anyone, is to blame. Introducing characters and conflicts that will be familiar to any middle-school student, this powerful and emotional story is likely to spur discussion. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 December

Gr 4-6--Seven fifth graders at Snow Hill School in Vermont learn a variety of life lessons, not necessarily from their textbooks, when they start the school year off with their new teacher. Short chapters are actually brief narratives by individual students and sectioned off by each month of the school year, beginning with September. From the students' distinct voices readers come to understand the different personalities and backgrounds that define them. Peter, the prankster; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; and Jessica, the new girl in town who hides behind her favorite books, are just a few of the characters who shape readers' vision of the classroom. As their narrative continues, readers realize that each child has a story that only begins in school; it's the problems and conflicts that make up their home lives that come full circle because of a prank that results in tragedy. Mr. Terupt is that one teacher who really understands them, who always seems to be on their side, and who teaches them a valuable lesson no matter how much some of them try to shut him out. If the school year is a series of events, then Mr. Terupt is the catalyst that starts the chain reaction. The characters are authentic and the short chapters, some less than a page, are skillfully arranged to keep readers moving headlong toward the satisfying conclusion.--Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH

[Page 104]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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