Friday, September 20, 2013

Choose Kind

The bottom floor of the Harvard Coop is primarily Children's books. I've been down there for a handful of YA books and admittedly a cookbook or two, but I had never actually bought a Children's book there. So when I went looking for R.J. Palacio's WONDER a few months ago I kind of felt silly being thirty and being in the kid's section.


WONDER might take up residence in the Children's section of a bookstore or library but it's not just for youngsters. I truly believe it's a book for everyone. Mother, father, sister, brother, human. Unless you live under a rock and never encounter other people you should read this book.

August is a young boy with loving parents, a really great big sister, a devoted dog - a really great family. He lives in New York, loves Star Wars (a kid after my own heart), and he's going into the fifth grade. He was also born with severe facial deformities. The story takes place at the beginning of the school year when August's parents decide to stop homeschooling him and enroll him in nearby Beecher Prep. August has always had to deal with reactions from people he meets, but enrolling in middle school is a whole new can of worms. Kids can be really cruel. They can also surprise you and be really kind.

I am telling you, you NEED to read this book. Read it with your child. Read it with your class. Read it with a friend. Just read it. Full disclosure: I cried. I had a really ugly laughing-through-the-tears cry as I read the last five pages and then the author's afterword. (Make sure you read all the extra info in the back of the book - comments from teachers, parents, etc.) It was not pretty, but neither Bug nor Beans cared because me crying while reading a book is old hat.

This book is about being kind to others. Not just being kind, but being kinder than is necessary. Go check out this site. Maybe it's my lack of sleep and overindulgence in caffeine because I am feeling weepy just thinking about the ending of the book and what happened after. Please, please, please just read WONDER. And be kind.

Happy Reading,
Stephanie
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