Monday, November 26, 2012

Book talk: Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Newbery 2013 contender)

[For this book talk, you are going to be the main character, Auggie, but you’ll wear a bag – any bag as long as you can see/breathe – over your head for the entire book talk.]

Hi, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is August, or Auggie for short. I’m the main character in the book you’re gonna read, called Wonder. Yeah, I can hear you murmuring about the bag on my head. No, I am not going to take it off. I repeat: no, I am not going to take this bag off. Why? I’m glad you asked.

Because the second I take this bag off my head, some of you will gasp. Some of you will snicker. Some of you may even call me names and point. I’m used to seeing kids put their hands over their mouths when they see me. Heck, I’m even used to their parents doing that, and yes, it is extremely rude and cruel. I’m not giving you the satisfaction of that.

I get judged on my face all the time, every second of every day. People forget what they’re doing or saying when they see me, and not in a good way. Would I like a chance to escape my fate/face? Haha: did you get the pun? Okay, I’ll repeat it, so listen carefully. Would I like a chance to escape my fate/face? Get it: my face is my fate? Oh, never mind. Actually, mind. Because of the way I look, I’ve been homeschooled my whole life. And now my parents are going to send me to a real school, where my face will be subjected to your judgments, comments, and criticism all the time. My parents are nervous about it. Very, very nervous.

You think you could be me? Even for one day? I bet you wouldn’t last one hour.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. 2012: Knopf. 315 pages. Booktalk to middle grades (intermediate) and middle school. Newbery contender, 2013.

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