Muscovy Duck

Here in NH we have an award called the Great Stone Face award for Best Children's book. In 2012-2013, author R.J. Palacio won the award for her novel, "Wonder". I just finished reading the book and was quite impressed with her insightful story that shares the thoughts and observations of a boy with a condition similar to Treacher-Collins syndrome - a specific craniofacial anomaly.

I loved how Ms. Palacio not only told the story through August, the main character's eyes, but also through the eyes of several of the other characters. And often it was the same scene from the different perspectives.

There were great lessons to learn here for the fifth grade students at Beecher Prep School, mostly about kindness. It took nearly the entire year for most of the students to accept and finally not cringe or insult Augie's disfigured facial features. And then there are those students who could look past Augie's face and saw only a special boy who was kind, funny, and smart.

It reminded me of the book, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. A girl who was special in a different way, in her unique and individual style, was copied by the students at her high school and then outcast by the same students who feared her uniqueness and individuality. At that time in their lives they all wanted to be like everyone else. No one strives for uniqueness. Augie was born unique and at first rejected for his uniqueness and then accepted as one of the gang. What both stories tell us is how middle grade and on up through high school is a difficult time in each student's life. They are all trying to figure out who they are and they want to be accepted by all, even at the risk of denying their own uniqueness.

I rate Wonder 5 out of 5 stars. *****

Buy Muscovy Duck by DJ Geribo


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