Sue already blogged about one of my favorite books of the past year. But I wanted to share about the impact I think this book can have. Wonder by R.J. Palacio might be the best fiction book I've ever read that deals with the difficult issue of bullying. I love the main character, Auggie's, spirit and resiliency but most of all I love the author's honesty about the issues Auggie faces. She doesn't shy away from exploring authentic thoughts and feelings that children experience whether they are the bullied, the bystander, or the bully. I think this book is fantastic and has the power to make positive changes as teachers and librarians and parents use it to engage children in dialogue on bullying. It's also a quick and delightful read. It's funny and inspiring in addition to the important issues it explores.
Random House has launched a "Choose Kind" anti-bullying campaign in response to the droves of librarians, teachers, parents, and children who love this book. On the website, people can share their experiences with bullies and their reactions to the situations in the book. You can also pledge to Choose Kind and print a certificate. The #thewonderofwonder conversation on Twitter has been another great place for discussion of the importance of this book.
In the book, Auggie's principal tells the middle-schoolers that when they have a chance to choose to be kind or be right, they should choose kindness every time. A great way to live life! So check out Wonder from the library soon and join in the Choose Kind movement!