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on June 4, 2014
I want to start this review by saying that as a parent, I really liked this book. It was well-written, fast-moving, and created enough curiosity to keep the pages moving well. However, since I bought the book for my 9-year-old, I'm going to add a few more points to my review.

The characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds, which I think is great. But I found some of situations to be a little heavy for what I want my nine-year-old reading just yet. Two of the characters have parents that have had divorces as a result of affairs (other girlfriends). One child was born when her mom was still in high school (maybe 16 or 17 years old, I don't quite recall). Though these situations are real - along with the sadness, grief, shame, and guilt that accompany them - I don't think I'm ready for that to take up space in my daughter's leisure reading time yet.

I realize that this is probably a more accurate reflection of society than I would hope, but those are a couple of things I would have wanted to know *before* my child read this book, so that I could have the chance to either 1) hold off for a while on introducing this book or 2) read it as a read-aloud so we could discuss these topics right then. As it happened, I was so intruiged by the book, I ended up reading it before I passed it on to her -- so for me, the problem was avoided.

I'm definitely sticking the book on the shelf for a year or two though, and plan to bring it out later. It was an excellent read with many good examples of good and bad behavior, and characters changing (an excellent life skill to learn!). I just think the nine side of the 9-12 age range was a little low, even if reading ability was considerably higher.
1717 comments272 of 281 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 11, 2011
I just finished Because of Mr. Terupt and I loved it! I am a ten year old boy that is going into fifth grade. I usually don't read as much as I should but my former teacher suggested this to me and I really liked it. It is about seven kids in fifth grade. The story is told from their different perspectives about what happens when they get a teacher who changes their lives.
The book was both funny and sad. I would recommend it for both genders. I thought it was interesting to hear a story told by different people in their own words. You could even take one person's perspective out of the book and it would make a great stand-alone story. I hope that Rob Buyea writes a sequel when the kids are in 6th grade.
44 comments76 of 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 18, 2010
This book is definitely a story with heart.

Mr. Terupt is a young teacher who not only wants to teach his students the 5th grade curriculum, but he wants to do more. He reaches out to each student individually, sometimes in very subtle ways, such as assigning two girls to be partners on a project whose families are at odds with one another. The story is told in alternating points of views from the students whose lives he's touched. The characters will be familiar, but they are in no way flat stereotypes. By getting inside the kids' heads, the reader begins to understand those who are different from them. Each fifth-grade class has these types of students, and so readers will definitely be able to relate to the cast: the mean/popular girl, the shy girl, the misfit, the brainiac, the new kid. In addition to this diverse group, the class gets involved with some special needs students as well, which is a surefire way to change the pre-adolescent "Me, me, me" mentality.

This was a great book. It's the kind of book that will appeal to adults and tweens alike. This story will be with me for a long, long time.
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on August 14, 2013
I read this with my nine year old granddaughter, who is entering the fourth grade. It was on her school's summer reading list. As a grandmother, I was a little saddened by the book's classmates, even though I realize that their lives represent those of many of today's middle class American children. Read ahead to prepare yourself for the questions this book will raise. The reading level was a little ahead of an entering fourth grader, but it increased reading skills, vocabulary, and social awareness.

My granddaughter came home from her first day in fourth grade with the comment, "I have a "Luke" sitting nest to me." We talked again about how you don't know what others' lives are like, and that the best policy is just to be nice to everyone.
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on January 1, 2011
I got this book for my daughter because of the John Irving cover blurb (I love John Irving). She is always wary of what I pick out but when I read the jacket copy to her (it's a book about fifth graders and she is in fifth grade), she grabbed it right out of my hands.

My daughter read this book non-stop until she finished it. She loooved it. It's sad--as she pointed out--but powerful and amazing.

A great book to get kids both reading and thinking. Great characters and story. Good job, Mr. Buyea. Hope to see more from you soon.
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on February 11, 2013
Easy read that an average 5th grader can finish in 3 to 5 sittings. Multiple characters (six) ensure that it is not too heavily for boys or girls. Chapters are short & print is well-spaced. Each chapter is that character's 'voice' and each 'voice' brings forward a distinct personality or family issue. Good pick if you want a contemporary-feeling early adolescent book that does not revolve around sex, drugs, or violence.
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on February 2, 2011
Mr Terupt is the teacher we all should have had. He could have taught us all about forgiveness,about fairness,about genuine caring and above all how teachers should teach! Each of the seven kids in this story represent our school society today. Our kids have to learn how to survive in this new school world. Mr. Buyea must have been that teacher. He surely knows kids.
I will be reading this one to 4th,5th, and 6th graders. The voices have to be read aloud. They are that real. I read this in one sitting and was sad when it was finished, because I was just getting to know these fantastic kids who are influenced by a fantastic teacher.
This is the kind of book that make reluctant readers want to find another book just like this!
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on June 8, 2013
This amazing book tells you the true meaning of hope, friendship and forgiveness, and plays with your emotions. All in all, this is a great book for ages 10-12
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on June 8, 2013
This book is amazing. I would recommend to people who like sweet books.
I cried at some parts.
I am so excited to read the second one.

I am a 11. So this review is from my point of view.
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on July 11, 2015
I had seen this book on so many 'must read' lists but had never gotten around to it until now. I just read it aloud to my 9-year old, and I really wanted to like it. As a former elementary teacher of 4th/5th & 6th graders, I was pulling for the author, a teacher himself, and was hoping that his unique perspective would bring a note of authenticity to the dialogue and storyline. Sadly, I found it very disappointing. It really seems like the kind of book that adults think is 'good for kids,' with weighty issues like blame and forgiveness looming largely in the plot but I found it odd and heavy-handed. None of the narrators--supposedly 11-year old kids--spoke with what sounded like an authentic child's perspective on events, and again, I just kept hearing the very weighty sermonizing that was woven in to the story instead. After fifteen years as a teacher myself, I can tell you that I wouldn't want my own kids in a classroom like the much-loved, much-idolized 'Mr. Terupt's.' The whole book had an odd feel to it that made me uncomfortable, and my son, too. Obviously though, others feel differently.
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