Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Ordinary or Extraordinary?

To say I was impressed with R.J. Palacio's Wonder would be a huge understatement. The entire book is filled with such truth and raw emotion that I almost could not put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen with the main character Auggie and all those surrounding his story. August "Auggie" Pullman is a very unique 5th grader. He was born with a severe facial deformity and has gone through his entire life up to this point getting series of facial surgeries. Even after his surgeries though, Auggie does not look anything like most people do. Up to this point Auggie never went to a real school, his mom had homeschooled him and Auggie was very happy with this arrangement. However, Auggie's family feels it's time for him to go to a real school. As if 5th grade is not a hard enough period of time in a child's life, Auggie will be approaching a 5th grade with no friends, no "real school" experience and a face that people are scared to look at. Palacio takes the reader through a first person narrative in the voice of Auggie, a few of Auggie's classmates and his sister. The shift of narrative perspective opens the reader up to heartbreaking truths that a one narrator story line does not offer. Take the journey with Auggie into 5th grade and meet a not so ordinary, perhaps extraordinary boy by the name of Auggie. This is a journey you should take, a journey you should talk about and a journey you should share. This is one of those no excuses, must read kind of books!

Reading Level: GLE: 4.8

Teachers: Here are some resources to help you to use this book in your classroom...

Web Resources:
  • Blog: This fantastic blog has links to this teacher's presentation during his read aloud of Wonder. He makes some great observations and asks some awesome questions.
  • This is a very new book, published this year which makes it difficult to find quality web resources, if you found one and would like to share please leave a comment with the resource in it, thanks!

Vocabulary: Here are some words I picked out... ordinary, extraordinary, anomalies, hindsight, aversion, biracial, phony, sympathetic, inclusion, hypocrite, fluke, taciturn, prude

Before Reading:
Discussion: Auggie has a facial deformity like not many people have ever seen before. What do you think your reaction to him would be? What is the kind of reaction you should have to something or someone that is different from what you are used to? (This type of a discussion can get tough, but is something that students should begin to discuss with each other and understand.)

Journal: Has anyone ever treated you differently based on how you look? If so how did it feel? If not, imagine what it would feel like.

During Reading:
Discussion: Why do you think the author chose to write this book in different points of view? Are there any points of view you feel are missing right now that are important to the story?

Journal: How do you think your life would be different if you were like Auggie?

After Reading:
Discussion: Why do you think Mr. Tushman chose Auggie to receive the Henry Ward Beecher medal?

Journal: Choose a precept from the list at the back of the book. Write about what you think it means. Create your own precept.

Palacio, R. J. (2012). Wonder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Happy Reading (& Running) =)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...