February 3, 2015

Another Quick Book Reco: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

You should read this book. And if you have kids between the ages of 8 and 15, you should hand it to them when you're done and have them read it. Or, better yet, read it together. And then when you're both done reading it, pass it along to a friend. This is a book that should be making the rounds. It should be required reading for elementary and middle school students.

Please, please read it.


Sigh. What to say about this book? It is well written. It is a fun, funny, entertaining, moving read. Kids will enjoy it. Adults will enjoy it. But that's not why I so want everyone to read it. This is: Wonder is a book about kindness and compassion. Wonder is a book about friendship and families and love. Wonder is a book about how tough the middle school years can be for everyone. Wonder is a book about seeing inside everyone's story and seeing that everyone has their challenges, whether they're obvious on the outside, or not. Wonder is a book about growing and changing and maturing and stretching and living.

Wonder is the story of August Pullman, who, on the inside, is in every way a typical ten year old. But on the outside, he is anything but typical. Born with a perfect storm of syndromes that have danced his face into a mask that startles people when they first see him, August has been homeschooled his whole life because of his facial deformities. But now, as he begins fifth grade, August's parents have enrolled him at Beecher Prep Middle School. August is terrified but determined to make people see that he really is just like them.

Narrated by August and the people around him whose lives he touches and changes forever, Wonder is an funny, frank and astonishingly moving novel that you will read quickly and want to pass on to another. 

Thank you, R.J. Palacio, for giving us such a wonderful gift to help us teach our kids, and remind ourselves, that everyone is a person with their own story, and that the only way to move through this world is with kindness and compassion. What a great entree into conversations with our kids on bullying and kindness and compassion you've given us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Seriously, friends, if you haven't already, go read this book. And share it with your kids, now if they're ready for it, or, if they're not, down the road when they are. (I will be reading it with both of my kids in a few years.)

Until next time, I bid you good reading.

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