Tag Archives: Kid Life

Staff Pick: Wonder

Staff Pick: Wonder


“August Pullman, 10 year old boy with a genetic facial deformity, starts school for the first time in his life at Beecher Prep Middle School.   Auggie must learn to cope with how others see him, even though he feels like an ordinary boy.  He is a bright, witty child, and after he has a chance to be himself; others eventually grow to love him.  Auggie and his new friends discover that there will always be bad people in the world, but hopefully, the good will always outweigh the bad.  This is a wonderful read for everyone!

Recommeneded by: Kimberly Anderson, West Indianapolis Branch Library

Auggie is ten and has never been to school. His Mom teaches him at home. For fifth grade Auggie’s Mom and Dad decide it would be a good idea for him to try school.  He’s never been to school AT ALL so he’s going to start in Middle School. What do you think? Would you want to do that?

Auggie isn’t sure what he thinks about school because he’s never been there. He knows he wants one thing though, friends…and school is where the other kids are. Auggie just wants to be a regular kid.

I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.

My name is August, by the way. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. (page 1)

The reason Auggie hasn’t been to school yet is because he has had 27 surgeries since he was born. He has an extreme facial abnormality. He did survive, and now he’s strong enough to not just survive; he’s strong enough to live, to grow, to learn and to go to school. But he still doesn’t look like other kids. In Middle School, kids worry if their shoes aren’t like the other kids’ shoes. Auggie’s got something different that is a lot different, and he can’t do a thing to change it.

Wonder is a “so truthful it hurts” story about an ordinary kid in an ordinary family in an ordinary school…living an extraordinary life. Life can be difficult and confusing and messy and make you cry, even while it is being wonderful. I loved getting to know Auggie and his family, especially his sister Via. I really liked that the point of view of the chapters change so that you hear from Auggie, as well as his sister and some of the kids at his new school. This is important because this isn’t just Auggie’s story, it is their story too. It takes them all to get the story right. Author: R.J. Palacio

Don’t miss these two GREAT articles about Wonder:

  • Slate: Wonder is the Best Kids’ Book of the Year. Slate talks to R.J. Palacio about bullying and empathy. (Empathy is when you are aware of and sensitive to the feelings of other people.) It is a great article for kids and parents both.
  • Happy Birthday Auggie Blog Post from the author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • Every Kid Needs a Hero Blog Post by Peter’s Mother. Peter has a craniofacial syndrome like Auggie’s. Here is a message for readers of Wonder from Peter himself:

If you liked reading Auggie’s story and understand what it feels like to want to be just another kid in the crowd but feel stuck being known for something about yourself you didn’t choose and can’t change, try one of these. And if you identify more with Via, Auggie’s sister, try Rules.
Out of My Mind Anything But Typical Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree Rules
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8th Grade Super Zero

8th Grade Super Zero

8th Grade Superzero

Some kids get nicknames in junior high. Some of those nicknames are even cool. But Reggie McNight’s nickname isn’t cool at all and it is a daily reminder of a very embarrassing event. His nickname? Pukey.

All Reggie wants now is to be invisible, operating under the radar…at least until everyone forgets about “the event.”

How is it then, that Reggie ends up running for class president? Why is he willing to put himself under the scrutiny of his peers again? After volunteering his time at a local homeless shelter, Reggie discovers he cares about something more than restoring his image.  He cares enough to step out of the shadows, after all,  “eighth grade isn’t all there is to life.” Here here. Pukey for President! #Stand4Peace Author: Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich

Look Inside 8th Grade Superzero

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Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

Bobby vs. Girls

Bobby and Holly have been friends since forever. They know boys and girls aren’t usually best friends and they know their friends at school wouldn’t understand, so they have a strategy they call “The Parting Place”.  They walk to school together everyday, but when they get to “The Parting Place” about a block from their school, Bobby speeds up and Holly slows down…just so they won’t be seen together. It works.

But then the week before fourth grade starts, Bobby starts to notice some weird things about Holly. She starts caring about her hair and misses a traditional rock hunting afternoon with Bobby because she’s going shopping with Jillian. On the first day of school their friendship hits a definite bump in the road:

“Hey Bobby, wait up!” Holly was running to catch up to him.

Bobby stared at her in disbelief. “Why are you wearing that? It’s not Halloween.”

Holly smoothed the sleeve of her light blue dress. The big white bow around the waist reminded him of toilet paper. “It’s new,” She said proudly, “Do you like it?”

Bobby shook his head. “Nope.”

Oh, man. NOT smooth. And it’s downhill from there!  When Bobby and Holly are both nominated to run against each other in their class election for Student Council Representative an all out boys vs girls war begins. What’s the best strategy when your arch rival knows your weaknesses and all your secrets? Game on! #Stand4Peace Author: Lisa Yee

Bobby isn’t the only boy mystified by girls. Alvin Ho is allergic to them! Holly isn’t the only girl mystified by boys. Here are some more funny books that showcase the battle between boys and girls, + another Bobby book, Bobby the Brave (Sometimes).
Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls Fudge-a-Mania Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love Bobby the Brave
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This Means War

This Means War

The Means War

Juliet and Lowell are best friends. Well, until this year, when Lowell started hanging out with Mike, Tommy & Bruce doing things they are sure a girly girl won’t like. Juliet is so mad at Lowell – her FORMER best friend.  She finds some kindred spirits in Patsy, Annette, & Linda. The other girls are none too happy about being labelled scaredy-cat sissies either who only have tea parties and won’t get dirty.

The kids get in a verbal war over just what “girl stuff” and “boy stuff” is. The boys are sure that “girl stuff” means painting fingernails, NOT go-carts. The girls think they can paint anything, including go-carts.

Juliet: “We ride bikes and we play baseball and we run just as fast as boys do.”

Patsy: “You don’t know what you’re talking about! Girls can do anything boys can do! At least I can!” (page 59)

The kids agree on a nine day contest, boys versus girls. Each day is a different challenge and whichever side wins the most challenges wins the contest. As the days go by the challenges get harder and harder; the kids daring each other to push themselves to the edge of their abilities…and their courage. Author: Ellen Wittlinger

Here are some more books about battles between boys and girls. This Means War takes place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis…a time when two countries, the U.S. and Russia, were locked in a similar battle of wills. Countdown is about kids during this time too – also a very good story.
Bobby vs. Girls The Boys Start the War The Girls Get Even Countdown
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Read Right Now! Big Nate

Read Right Now! Big Nate

Nate is an 11-year-old aspiring cartoonist in "Big Nate."


Big Nate Series:

1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself
2: Big Nate Strikes Again
3: Big Nate On a Roll
4: Big Nate Goes for Broke
5: Big Nate Flips Out
6: Big Nate In the Zone
7: Big Nate Lives It Up (March 10, 2015)

Downloadable Books:

NateLoud NateWork NateFriends
NateTop NateGrade NateDibs
NatePop NateGame NateFire
Great Minds Think Alike I Can't Take It Big Nate Makes a Splash

Downloadable Audiobooks:

NateRoll NateClass In the Zone
Big Nate Flips Out Big Nate Goes for Broke


If you think Nate is funny, try some of these:
Dog Days Smile Amelia Rules Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday
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