Thought for the day:
A gift for my writer friends:
First, a BIG announcement — at least for me. My non-fiction article, A Princess Who Can Tune an Engine, is in the March issue of Highlights Magazine. Stop by your dentist’s office or local library and take a look. I’m pretty excited.
For my fabulous giveaway, the winner is Nancy! (Cue the confetti!) Nancy, I will be sending you a copy hardbound A Smidgen of Sky. Thanks for reading my blog, Nancy. The book will be on its way soon. Enjoy! There will be another giveaway, so stay tuned and please leave comments to have a chance in the drawing.
I have been hearing so much about the middle-grade novel Wonder by R. J. Palacio, that I had to take a break from my reading for the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Reviews and read this book. I’m so glad I did. It is such a heartwarming and honest story, the kind that sticks with you long after you’ve closed the book. It is the story of August Pullman, a young boy unlike anyone else around. Truly unlike others. He was born with birth defects most cannot imagine, leaving him with a face that literally stops people in their tracks. Auggie tells the reader at the beginning of the book “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” Perhaps it is, but through the story, we get bits and pieces of descriptions until we have the whole picture and it’s not a pretty one, but by the time we really know what Auggie looks like, we can’t help but love and admire this amazing kid. He’s smart and funny and compassionate and tough as an armadillo’s shell.
Not everyone loves and admires Auggie. He is starting school, after being homeschooled all his life by his mother, when he is in fifth grade. He has an idea what he will face and doesn’t like the idea, but it seems he must try. His parents decide on Beecher Prep, a small middle school. Auggie faces exactly the kind of isolation he expected, but there are a few kind people who befriend him and make it a bit easier.
We all remember how cruel kids can be, but none of us faced what Auggie does. His intelligence and sense of humor help him to hang on through terrible times, but ultimately it’s Auggie who has to survive the war that swirls around him.
We, as readers, find it easy to focus on Auggie and forget how everyone around him is affected by his deformity, but R. J. Palacio writes this story in first person not only from Auggie’s point of view, but some of those who surround them, and we see through their eyes how far-reaching Auggie’s problem is and how brave others need to be in this tiny universe.
|R. J. Palacio|
I can’t recommend this book enough. It will surely be read in middle-school classrooms for years to come, and should be. When my grandson saw me with the book, he told me, “Everyone in my class has read that. I want to read it.” That means I can’t give my copy away. He is dogging me and I have to hand it off. However, I promised a giveaway and so you shall have one.
If you click HERE, you will be taken to the review I wrote for the Sacramento Book Review of Winter’s Tide, a nice middle-grade novel. I will be sending my gently used ARC to one of you. Please leave a comment to have your name in the drawing. If you Tweet the link to this post or put it on FaceBook or put it on your blog post, please let me know and I will put your name in a second time. I will post the winner on my next post, so check back.
Don’t forget to stop by Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday links. Click HERE to find it.