Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea

by Rob Buyea
Delacorte Press

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.

Technically, turtles don't cry. We do have tear ducts, contrary to rumors, but they are just used occasionally for health reasons. So, we were definitely NOT crying when we read this book. Nor were we sniffling. We just...had water up our noses.

Humans, however, may want to have a tissue or two on hand. It's not as if you aren't warned in the description, after all - but things didn't play out exactly as we expected. All we can say there is, yeah for James!

We were a little concerned about the number of voices - it can be difficult to keep two voices distinct in the reader's mind, how would Buyea do with seven? While there is quite a bit of personality overlap - particularly in the girls - their stories help keep them separated. An ambitious undertaking for a first novel, so we won't be too hard on him this time:)

The story itself moves along quickly, and everyone will wish they had a teacher like Mr. Terupt. His excitement is so infectious, it doesn't just affect his students, it carries over to his readers as well. We are itching to start experimenting with the plants in our tank! While parts may have stretched credibility, it wasn't enough to ruin the reading. We give it a

4 out of 5 and recommend you go pick it up next!

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