In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
copyright date: February 2012
primarily marketed for: young readers (3rd grade and up)

From the moment this book was released, it seems it was all I heard about.  Every blog I read, every tweet I followed announced another reader had fallen in love.

And that is just what will happen to you.

August, Auggie, Pullman is not your average 5th grade boy.  Although, according to Auggie the only reason he is not ordinary is because no one else sees him that way

Auggie was born with a cleft palette amongst other medical anomalies that interfered with the development of his facial features.  At the start of the book he says, “I won’t describe what I look like.  Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

5th grade marks the first year he will attend school after having been homeschooled through years of surgery.  This book is about all the challenges he faces and the affect that his story has on others.

Which brings me to the best feature of this book.  Although it is nearly impossible not to fall in love with Auggie and his way of looking at the world, the way Palacio proceeds to tell his story through the voices of other characters, in addition to Auggie’s own voice, is genius.  Through the other characters the layers of Auggie’s story truly unfold. 

We hear of the impact Auggie’s life has had on his older sister, her boyfriend, her ex-best friend, and his schoolmates.  But mostly, we hear how Auggie’s quiet strength lifts up the hearts of these people.  And he lifts up our hearts as readers as well. 

Although this is a book marketed for much younger readers, it is one of those special books that everyone should read.  If everyone would read Wonder, the world would be a kinder place. 


  1. I just bought this. SO glad you liked it. I'm thinking of doing a read aloud with my freshmen--what do you think

  2. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 Wonder. I am STILL thinking about it. I'm thinking of using it for a read-aloud next year. Thank you for that wonderful (pun intended) gift, my friend.

  3. So great. Loved by kids as well as the adults.