For the 4th year, I’ve started the year reading aloud Wonder, by R.J.Palacio to my 4th and 5th graders, and the reaction from students in two different countries, a world away, was exactly the same. They love it. They don’t want it to end.
There’s something magical about August Pullman, the protagonist of Wonder, that draws the students in. And there’s the wonderful perspectives from his friends and family. There’s tension, humor, strength and friendship.
This year, as we finished up the book, a group of my boys had their arms around each other’s shoulders, like they were at a soccer match. They were rooting for August to get his award. They knew it was coming, showing me they could visualize the story, make predictions. When I read out what they had anticipated, they cheered loudly and high fived each other. These were from my “boy” boys, the boys who play soccer every recess and love to wrestle with each other. It included boys who don’t generally like reading on their own. They were cheering for August, and it made me want to cry.
How cool is that to touch lives that way through a book? It’s “Wonder”ful, and I’ll keep on reading aloud to bring in everyone. And thank you R.J. Palacio. Here are some of my students’ thoughts: