Because of Mr. Terupt Summary & Study Guide
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 41-page guide for “Because of Mr. Terupt” by Rob Buyea includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 10 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Blame, Self-Blame, and Forgiveness and Parental Influence on Children.
Because of Mr. Terupt is a middle-grade novel takes place in Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade class at Snow Hill School in Connecticut. The story is told from the perspectives of seven individual students in Mr. Terupt’s class. The novel addresses themes of bullying, divorce, teen pregnancy, moral prejudice, special needs, death, and guilt.
Author Rob Buyea taught third grade, fourth grade, and high school before becoming a full-time writer. He also has a background coaching wrestling (Mr. Terupt is a wrestler in his youth). Because of Mr. Terupt is Buyea’s first book and is an E. B. White Read Aloud Honor Book. This summary is based on the 2011 First Yearling Edition. Rob Buyea has written two sequels to Because of Mr. Terupt: Mr. Terupt Falls Again and Saving Mr. Terupt.
Because of Mr. Terupt is told from the perspective of seven fifth-grade students. Mr. Terupt is a new teacher who attempts to teach lessons about personal responsibility, but his good intentions backfire when he falls victim to a tragic schoolyard accident that leaves him in a coma. The novel is organized into two parts, with Part 1 leading up to Mr. Terupt’s accident and Part 2 dealing with the aftermath of the accident. The novel spans 10 months and follows the school year chronologically from September through June. The beginning chapter introduces each of the seven individual students who narrate the story: Peter, Jessica, Luke, Alexia, Jeffrey, Danielle, and Anna.
Rivalries and friendships develop among the students and intensify as the school year continues. By the time November comes around, Peter establishes himself not only as a class clown, but also as a potentially dangerous prankster. Mr. Terupt introduces his class to the Collaborative Classroom downstairs, a classroom for students with special needs.
Despite a series of bullying incidents and class disruptions, Mr. Terupt’s class earns a free play day for achieving 27 days of good behavior. The class decides to use half of their free time indoors and half outdoors for snow play. The play becomes increasingly rough, and other students pummel Peter into the snow. Peter blindly throws a snowball in retaliation, hitting Mr. Terupt in the head. The head injury leaves Mr. Terupt in a coma.
Each student visits Mr. Terupt in the hospital, with the exception of Jeffrey, who blames himself for the accident and wants to go back to not caring about school again. Anna initiates a group visit, which serves to break down the barriers among girls in the class. The students each struggle with their own guilt for their roles in the accident. A goodbye party for a student in the Collaborative Classroom brings everyone’s emotions to a climax, as the students forgive one another for their roles in Mr. Terupt’s accident.
Mr. Terupt, still in a coma, undergoes brain surgery, and his students come to the hospital to support him. They bond over sharing stories about their teacher and the lessons they’ve learned from him. On the last day of school in June, Mr. Terupt makes a surprise return to his classroom. Not only has he come out of his coma and recovered from brain surgery, he will also be their teacher again next year as they head into sixth grade together.
Part 1, Chapter 1