Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. (Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, 6-8 Nominee)
“Here is a story of loss and discovery. Lou is old and alone, living on a small farm in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Kek is young and lost, new to America from a Sudanese refugee camp. Lou thinks she has nothing left, but discovers she alone has what Kek needs. Kek thinks he knows nothing useful in this new life, yet he brings a little happiness to all he meets. In caring for Lou’s old cow, Kek reclaims the wisdom of his old life. Kek tells us that “you will have lived just half a life if you never love a cow.” Venture into this sweet story for a glimpse of the wonder of a cow and how it changed a life.”
Re-posting today, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. Today, October 10th, is the main character Auggie’s birthday. The day has been chosen to help celebrate the Choose Kind movement – an anti-bullying campaign started by the author. It’s not just about being nice, it’s about being kind…which is more than just being polite.
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.
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 don’t know about Auggie yet…read about him here:
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
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.
Dwight’s advice giving Origami Yoda got him into some trouble in The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. Now Dwight’s kicked out of McQuarrie Middle School and goes to the Tippett Academy.
Sometimes the kids see Dwight, but when Dwight is seen, he acts very strange. Strange for Dwight anyway…because Dwight is acting NORMAL. That can’t be right. What exactly is the Tippett Academy and what have they done to Dwight?
When Sara shows up at school with a paper fortune teller that looks like the wookiee Chewbaca, she starts handing out advice Origami Yoda style. If Dwight made the Fortune Wookiee does that mean Chewie gives good advice too even though Dwight isn’t there? How is it that the advice comes out of Sara’s mouth?
Tommy starts another case file to solve TWO mysteries this time…is the fortune wookiee real…and what in the world is wrong with Dwight?
Another funny week at McQuarrie Middle School. I have to say…love that Sara. No wonder Tommy likes her.
After losing his hand in an accident in his father’s butcher shop in 1946, sixth-grader Norman uses hard work and humor to learn to live with his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.
“Growing up just after the end of World War II promises to be a time of peace and hope. All of this ends for Norman when he is severely injured and finds himself permanently disabled. Yet Norm faces the future not in terms of what cannot be accomplished but instead, how much can be achieved with the love and supports of family and friends. While not a true story, it is loosely based on the life of the husband of author M.J. Auch. This is a great read for families.”
Recommended by Roberta Ash, Children’s Librarian – Eagle Branch
Sixth grader Mo…A+ student, fry cook, best friend to Dale, arch enemy of Anna Celeste, kid to the Colonel and Miss Lana…turns detective when her town’s least likable citizen turns up dead. Who would want to kill Jesse Tatum? It’s true that nobody liked him much, but kill him? It can’t be anyone in Tupelo Landing can it?
A hot shot city detective shows up and ratchets up the anxiety by asking a lot of uncomfortable questions. Questions that start to point to the Colonel, and even Dale, who’s just a kid!
Starr studied us for one cold, flat minute. “Don’t leave town,” he told the Colonel. Then he nodded to me and headed for the door. We watched him climb into his Impala. “He’s going to be trouble,” the Colonel said, unplugging the jukebox. “Yes, sir,” I said, thinking of Dale. “If you ask me, he already is.” (page 84-85)
That slick Detective Joe Starr might have a cell phone and a computer but Mo has something he hasn’t got…the Cousin Information Network..and as long as she’s got good enough stuff to make a trade, she can find out everything she needs to know about Jesse Tatum, his girlfriend & his dead cousin. It’s all about who you know and Mo knows everyone…she just doesn’t know everything…can she figure it all out before the murderer strikes again? Author: Sheila Turnage