It is the first day of fifth grade and there is a brand new teacher named Mr. Terupt. He is young, funny, and clearly not like any other teacher these kids have had before. The story is told from the views of seven very different students in his class. Peter is the class clown. He is always pulling pranks and seeing what he can get away with. Luke is the brain; he thinks in numbers and appears very serious. His peers sometimes think he comes across as thinking he’s better than everyone else. Anna is quiet and shy. Her mom had her when she was 16, and often feels ostracized because of it. Alexia is the “mean girl”. She thinks that making friends means being mean to others, so she constantly puts others down. Danielle is overweight and Alexia doesn’t let her forget it. She lives on a farm with her family and is very religious. Jeffrey is known as the slacker. He wonders why even bother having relationships with other people because they always go away; he is often angry and keeps to himself. Finally, there is Jessica. She is the new girl in town, who moved from California with her mom. Jessica is strong willed and doesn’t let Alexia scare her.
As the reader learns more about the characters and how their lives are intertwined, Mr. Terupt works his magic to transform their relationships with one another in a positive way. After the class earns a reward for good behavior, they choose to have an outdoor snow day. Things go terribly wrong when one of the students accidentally throws an icy snowball and hits Mr. Terupt, leaving him in a coma.
Because of Mr. Terupt is an incredible story about friendship, forgiveness, willingness to change, and learning how to take responsibility for one’s own actions. It is about the true magic of a dedicated teacher, and how one person can change the lives of so many.
Mr. Terupt got hurt when Peter accidentally hit him in the head with a snowball that was really hard and icy.
There are many important themes in this book, but the main theme is accepting personal responsibility. Mr. Terupt teaches in a way that requires the students to take responsibility for their own actions in the classroom and in life.
Because of Mr. Terupt is about an exceptional teacher and the students in his class whose lives he changes in many ways.