Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wonder


WonderTitle: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: February, 2012
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Middle Grade Novel
Summary: August, Auggie, has never been to school. It isn't because he never wanted to, it was because he never could. After being born with an almost unknown birth defect, he has had over 25 surgeries in his short 10 years of life. Now, after a time of surgery-free life, Auggie's parents have decided that it is time for Auggie to go to school. As a 5th grader. Which is the first year of middle school. As Auggie's dad says, it is like leading a lamb to slaughter and the ride that Auggie goes on is a roller coaster of emotions. 

What Kellee Thinks: There are certain books that while you are reading, you wish that you could share it with every person, adult and child, that you know. This is one of those books. It is almost too hard to explain because of how wonderful it is. It is a book that will make you want to be kinder to every person that you meet. It is already a lesson that I try to teach my students and a book like this will assist me in showing them how words and actions can affect another person. 

Although August is amazing and you cannot feel for and love his character, there are 2 other characters that made this book for me. First, Summer. She shows that there are 10 year olds that are still loving and thoughtful. The other is Mr. Browne. I love his precepts and how he teaches his class. What a way to make students reflect about their lives and to think deeply. 

What Jen Thinks: Wonder has inspired me to want to be a kinder person to everyone I meet. I want to stand and applaud everyone but especially RJ Palacio for writing such an amazing story. 

I am a teacher of kids who are deaf and hard of hearing. I can't wait to share this book with them. After I finished, I was making a list of all the people I am anxious to share this book with. Right away, I called a student who has been out of school all this week to tell her and her family how amazing they are. This particular student has a very rare syndrome that is somewhat similar to Auggie's and her family is so great. She is a lovable kid who brings a smile to the faces of everyone that she meets. I am proud to know her and I realized how much more I need to express to her and all of my students how admirable they are for the strength they show everyday. 

RJ Palacio has done a remarkable job of telling a story that is sure to inspire everyone to be kinder than necessary and to make the world a better place.
Read Together: Grades 3 to 8
Read Alone: Grades 4 and up
Read With: Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper, Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund
Snatch of Text: 
"I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go... My name is August, by the way. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." (p. 1) 
Mentor Text for: Characterization, Point of View
Writing Prompts: This book has prompted Jen and I to be more conscious of how we treat others. Think of a time that you could have been nicer to someone or think of a time where you judged a person based on looks before ever even talking to them. 
Topics Covered: Disability, Birth Defects, Kindness, Friendship, Family, Stereotypes, School, Bullying

Jen and Kellee both *heart* it
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