We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio is a powerful picture book about the beloved character, Auggie from the chapter book, Wonder. Wonder was one of my favorite books because of it’s powerful and valuable lesson for all children to learn. To check out my review of Wonder, click here. When I saw We’re All Wonders in my son’s scholastic book, I immediately wanted to purchase it and have it in my home library.
We’re All Wonders begins with a introduction to the main character, Auggie by stating, “I’m not an ordinary kid”. From the first person perspective, Auggie explains to the reader that he does all the things that ordinary kids do such as playing ball and eating ice cream, but his appearance is different than the other kids. He explains that although his mom says he’s unique and a wonder, other people don’t see those qualities in him. “All they see is how different I look.” He discusses how his feelings are hurt because people stare at him and say mean things behind his back. This makes him feels isolated and that he just wants to escape. So he does! With his dog Daisy in tow, he flies off to space to get a different perspective. From far away, he thinks about all of the different people on the earth and look and talk differently and states “The Earth is big enough for all kinds of people.” When he returns back home, he learns that with friendship, comes understanding and acceptance.
We’re All Wonders is a picture book with a message that should be taught to every child. As a speech language pathologist for over 15 years, I have worked with many individuals that look and talk differently. Working in various environments, I have seen first hand the reactions of certain people that may look differently than others and immediately judge them. Instead of avoiding this conversation with our children about people who may look different, bring the topic to the dinner table and talk about it! Bring up questions such as “Why does he or she look different?”, “Why did Auggie put a helmet on after people made fun of him?”, “How do you they feel when people stare at them?”, “What would you do if you saw others making fun of this person or being mean to them?” These are just some simple questions to start with and then brainstorm on how to make this person feel included and accepted. This book can also teach the critical feeling of empathy for children.
Explaining more complex vocabulary in the book such as unique, wonder, and ordinary can help children understand the book. Younger children would also benefit from explaining the underlying message of accepting others regardless of how they look or communicate.
Are you a teacher? Check out printable available on my new store, Creative Speech and Language Concepts at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Wonder is a movie! Check out the trailer.
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