Tuesday, September 2, 2014

365 Days of Wonder

Although R.J. Palacio's Wonder remains one of my favorite children's novels, and The Julian Chapter provided a satisfying glimpse into the bully's perspective, I wasn't sure about the 365 Days of Wonder when I heard that Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts was being published. Sure, a book of thoughtful sayings to ponder sounds nice, but not exactly the kind of book kids are likely to pick up for pleasure reading.

When I actually saw 365 Days of Wonder in my local bookstore last week, I changed my mind. I still don't think that most kids will pick this book up just to read it. It actually wouldn't take very long! But I really fell in love with the notion of a precept a day. At my own home, I'm keeping our copy near the kitchen table so that most mornings we can read the precept before scattering about our day. I think many teachers could find usefulness in the quick lessons taught here, or use them as writing prompts. My favorite parts though are the pages of precepts written by other children. Their ages and cities are noted in the contribution section at the end of the book. I'm thrilled to see the evidence that Wonder has impacted so many children and will continue through these variations on choose kind. Another nice touch that Palacio included are the essays by Mr. Browne at the end of each month. Each essay provides another insight to the story or to a character quality mentioned.

I'm eagerly waiting to see what Palacio's next work might be. She really has a talent for developing the Wonder story. I have every expectation that her next project will be a winner as well.


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