I am so glad that I was introduced to a wonderful novel titled Wonder by RJ Palacio. I have been an evangelist for this book since I heard about it. A book about a boy who has a facial deformity, never gone to school until his 5th grade year. What a wonderful summary!
I was so happy to have this book in my hands before I went to the Utah Valley University Engaged Reading conference. The first day, I was asking librarians and teachers from all over the state of Utah and from other parts of the country if they had heard of this book. All had said, No. I was shocked! I was surprised! I couldn’t believe that they hadn’t heard of this book. So, I did my best in selling this book to them. Many wrote down the title.
Donalyn, Me, and Wonder
The next day, I met my new friend Donalyn Miller. After her keynote, I went up and we chatted for a second. She asked me, “What books did the speakers talk about yesterday?”
I said, “Last years, but they didn’t mention any new books from 2012.”
She said, “Okay, that’s where I will start.”
I then said, “No one has heard of Wonder.”
She then said, “I will talk about Wonder, that book is going to win a ton of awards.”
When the cover of the book showed up on her screen, a few of the teachers whom I shared the book with previously looked at me and shook their heads and had a smile on their face. Donalyn then went on and expertly sold the book!
Stampede for Wonder
This past week, I bought another copy of the book for my classroom. I then showed the book trailer, which is awesome, to my class and shared the video of the author reading a chapter out loud. (Find these on youtube) I then held the book up and told the class that I LOVE this book. I told them it is probably one of my favorites of all time. I made a sign-up sheet and placed it on the whiteboard. I asked the class who would want to read this book? All hands shot up instantly! I told the class that they can sign up after lunch. There were a lot of moaning and groaning going on. Before the lunch recess bell rang, I had a line at my door. Once I let them in, there was a literal stampede at the sign-up sheet. One parent couldn’t understand what the kids were doing at the whiteboard. I told her that it was for a book. She couldn’t believe it. I had 17 names on the sign-up sheet (out of 27 kids).
The first name to get the book was a girl and by Friday she was past page 200. She got the book on Wednesday. RJ Palacio mentioned me on her Tumblr, thanking me (among many others) for being such an advocate for her book. You, Ms. Palacio, wrote an awesome book that I LOVE, thank you (and my students thank you) for doing this!