Wonder by Sharmon Polson
The Frankfort 5th Grade began the year reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It was wonderful! No pun intended.
Reading of a boy born with a facial difference, who has decided to branch out from home schooling for the first time into 5th grade, was an incredible conversation starter! Of course, the book provided opportunities to increase our vocabularies, strengthen our comprehension skills, and advance our fluency. But, the greatest gain from reading this book as a class was the increased awareness of caring for others no matter how different they may be.
One of the most heartfelt comments of my career came from a student while discussing this book. When given the question, why do people do mean things? The student replied that perhaps people are feeling sad or angry and they want someone else to feel as bad as they do. The class had great discussions about how we all feel anger and sadness. We also had many talks about how being kind when something is unfamiliar can be a struggle.
I can safely say that most, if not all Frankfort 5th graders, would highly recommend this book regardless of age. Book readers will want to get on it because the movie comes out on November 17th! It looks promising, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Mandy Patinkin.