Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. Terupt
by Rob Buyea
From the publisher:
"Features seven narrators, each with a unique story, and each with a different perspective on what makes their teacher so special.It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.

Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone."

 Because of Mr. Terupt is a perfect family or classroom read-aloud.   It will lead to some really good discussions on a myriad of different topics. It is a story told through the eyes of 7 students. Each different voice is very distinguishable, and each different student has their own set of problems. It is inspiring to see their growth throughout their 5th grade school year. I did have one issue with how much the teacher let the kids get away with, but that was addressed later in the book so I felt better. I also had a hard time buying into the idea that people today would be so prejudiced against a 5th grade girl whose mother had gotten pregnant out of wedlock, but it adds to the story. I'm sad I'm just discovering this book - it was published in 2010. However, I think it is my favorite children's fiction book since I read Wonder in 2012.  I definitely recommend this one.

Areas of concern:
A few crudities were used by the students.
There are several issues brought up that may need discussion - unwed pregnancy, divorce, death of a sibling, bullying, calling special needs kids "retard"... That sounds like a lot of dark stuff, but it is dealt with very beautifully.

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 9-12
School Library Journal - Grades 4-6

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