NEWTON, NJ – Halsted Middle School students, faculty, and even parents of the students, had an opportunity to celebrate the book Because of Mr. Terupt on Friday, September 26.
Because of Mr. Terupt was a book the middle school students were challenged to read over the summer.
Author Rob Buyea visited the school for a special book signing meet and greet breakfast event for parents before the start of the school day. Following breakfast, Buyea dashed to the auditorium for a school-wide assembly.
Buyea spent the day at the school, teaching the fifth grade writing classes. He lunched with students, and students from the school’s newspaper and newsletter interviewed him.
“We have already had multiple students and teachers coming into the library looking for a copy of his second book, and discussing the books they would like to write as a result of his influence today,” said Erin Marmara, a teacher at the school who, along with teacher Jean Perrier, organized the summer reading activity and arranged for Buyea’s visit.
Because of Mr. Terupt chronicles the stories of seven diverse fifth grade students who all look up to their teacher, Mr. Terupt. The book, which is told from each of the students’ perspectives, shows the connection and positive effect that Mr. Terrupt has had on all of them. An accident changes the landscape, and creates a learning lesson for all impacted by it.
“This powerful and emotional story is likely to spur discussion,” Publishers Weekly said in its review.
“Compelling…Readers will find much to ponder on the power of forgiveness,” was what Booklist wrote about the story.
Buyea has written a sequel book, Mr. Terupt Falls Again, and he told students another book in the series, Saving Mr. Terupt, is in the works.
Buyea extracted many of his own experiences as an elementary and high school teacher, and wrestling coach, weaving them into his writings. Buyea is now a full-time writer. He dedicated Because of Mr. Terupt to his former third and fourth grade students, who he has said, inspired him to write.
Halsted students were also thrilled to see Buyea’s own personal list of dollar words, with the “dollar word challenge” mentioned in his book. The challenge is to place a monetary value on each letter of the alphabet, with “A” as one cent, and “Z” as 26 cents. The challenge is for students to find words that equal a one-dollar value. When he offered the dollar word challenge to his own students, one of Buyea’s students returned to school with the dollar word challenge completed with the assistance of his computer programmer father, filled with dollar words on the entire front and back of the paper. As Buyea was writing, he would refer to that list when in need of a “dollar word.”
Click below for a trailer, which offers a glimpse into the touching story, Because of Mr. Terupt.
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