The Wonder of Wonder

Feb 8, 2017 by

Today, I’m getting ready for my monthly book club meeting. I have everything I need.

Discussion questions

A copy of the book I chose

Kid-friendly snacks (You’ll understand why as you read on.)

3 x 5 cards and markers (I’ll explain at the end.)

My friend Teri invited me to join her book club after they read Running with Roselle and asked me to visit as a guest speaker. Each month, a different member chooses the book and hosts the meeting, and February was my turn! I chose Wonder by R.J. Palacio—one of my favorite children’s books of all time.

Wonder_Cover

Wonder is one of those books that, in my opinion, every parent and teacher should read. It is sad, and sweet, and funny, and beautiful. We see kids and adults at their best and at their worst, but mostly at their best.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s about a boy named August, who was born with a facial deformity similar to the kid in the movie Mask. He is in fifth grade and entering public school for the first time. He doesn’t want to go, but his parents know that they can’t protect him forever.

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In some ways I relate to August because I remember what it felt like to stand out as different at school. But being starred at wherever I go? I can only image that!

We see August through the eyes of his friends and his sister, ache for his parents, and instantly fall in love with him. I also instantly wanted to beat up every mean classmate and shallow mom who hurt Auggie’s feelings!

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August Pullman is amazing! He’s one of the greatest heroes in American literature! He reminds me that those who stand out as different just want to be seen as “an ordinary kid” and don’t often see how extraordinary they are.

Wonder has inspired a Choose Kind Campaign for schools, and motivated some to create “precepts” based on the cool assignment that one of August’s teacher’s gives. (Every month, Mr. Browne posts a quote on the wall and his students have to write about it. At the end of the year, he asks the kids to send him one of their own.)

544500f713ed521e4c3ed69f4c9ddafbAugust’s Precept

I can’t wait to talk about this book with my story-loving friends and find out how August touched them. In addition to the usual discussion questions, I plan to have each of us write out a precept with colorful markers——either one from the book, a favorite quote, or something original. As a collector of quotes, I could not pass up this opportunity!

So, I’m curious, if you had to choose a favorite “precept” about kindness and accepting those who are different what would it be? How has God helped your embrace your uniqueness, or someone else’s?

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