Saturday, June 28, 2014

Truly "Wonder"ful

The book "Wonder" is a must read
Since I am a Middle School Language Arts teacher I spend a lot of my free time reading YA (young adult) fiction.  I like to stay current on what the kids are reading, and I also like to find out which books are well-written, and of what genre, so that I know what to recommend to my students.  Last year a teacher that I worked with told me that I had to read "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio.  I read the entire thing in 2 days; once I started reading I couldn't put it down.  It's a book that has truly made an impact on my life.

The book "Wonder" is about a 5th grade boy who is born with a facial anomaly.  He has undergone numerous surgeries to try and make him look and function as normally as he can, but still lives with a face that adults and children alike are scared to look at.  R.J. Palacio does an amazing job of guiding us through August's (the main character's) journey.  She also writes sections of the book from the point of view of the supporting characters so that you can get their reaction to August.

I did a donors choose project (teachers if you haven't tried donors choose I highly recommend it), where the donations went towards purchasing a class set of "Wonder" books.  I was able to read this story with all 100 of my students and the reaction to the book was phenomenal.  I had students who asked their parents to buy them the book for their birthday because they just wanted to have their own copy.

If you are looking for a good book to read with your kids I highly recommend "Wonder", it is not only well written and entertaining, it also sparks great discussions about acceptance and kindness.  Although I read this with 7th and 8th graders I believe that children as young as 4th grade can independently read it.  Or make a family night out of it and read a few pages a night as a family (Jeff and I did this with "The Hunger Games" series and it was really fun).

For those of you that don't have kids this book has caused a sensation among adults as well.  I highly encourage kids and adults of all ages to read the book "Wonder"!
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