Kinder than is Necessary – “Wonder”

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Sprigeo was recently introduced to the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio through the The National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction.  About a week later, I was talking with another mom who randomly brought up this book and highly recommended it for my daughter who is just starting junior high school.  I downloaded it to my Kindle and started reading it that night.  I was hooked from the start and became attached to the compelling characters in this book, especially the main character, August.

The author did such an amazing job of portraying the feelings that each of the characters struggled with without sugar coating it.  August (Auggie to his family and friends) was born with facial abnormalities that prevented him from attending school until he transitioned from home schooling to middle school in fifth grade.   His condition is such that adults and kids alike can’t help but stare and/or react in some way when they first meet him.  The story follows his struggles adjusting to middle school and different chapters are written through the perspective of important people in his life.

I smiled and cried my way through this sweet story.  My 12 yr. old daughter has started reading it too and I can’t wait to talk with her about it.  I highly recommend this book for all middle-schoolers, teens and adults alike.  Since the main character is a boy, I think that boys and girls alike can appreciate this story.

My favorite quote in the book was used during a graduation speech —  J.M. Barrie’s quote from Little White Bird, “Shall we try to make a rule out of life…always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”

This quote was used in Wonder to encourage the middle school students; “If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary-the world really would be a better place…”

This book addresses bullying and gives a wonderful illustration of what happens when bystanders choose to take action and the power of kindness.

You can find Wonder on Amazon where I wasn’t surprised to find it was rated with five stars.  I am an avid reader and this is one of my new favorites that I will be recommending to friends.  You can also visit Choose Kind where people can share experiences and sign a pledge to stamp out bullying. This site also has an Educator Guide and ToolKit.

–Julie

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