Nancy: What inspired you to write Wonder in the first place?
My sons and I saw a child with a facial difference, and my younger son was quite young and got frightened. It got me wondering what it must be like for that child, having to deal with reactions like that. How do you face a world every day that doesn't always know how to face you back? How does bullying make you feel?
Bullying is terrible, and it's something that I think people do when they feel really insecure about themselves.
Emilie, Ondine, Coco and Isabel: Is August or any of the other characters based on a real person that you know or knew when you were a child?
All the kids in the book are somewhat loosely based on people I know or knew growing up. Not specifically one person, though, but a composite of people.
Tahirou: How did you choose the name August for the main character?
It's always been a named I've loved. If I'd had a third son, I think I might have called him that. Adam: Have you ever felt a little like August feels in the book?
Yes, definitely. Even though I don't face the same challenges Auggie faces, I remember what it's like to feel a little insecure, or like I'm the odd one out. We all have experienced that feeling to some extent or other, I think. Summer: I'm called Summer, where did you get the name Summer from?
I knew a little girl named Summer who was one of the sweetest kids I've ever known. I bet you're like that, too!
Toni and Abdulhayy: How long did it take you to write Wonder?
It took me about a year and a half to complete my first draft.
Max and Alana: What were your influences in writing the book?
My older son had just finished 5th grade when I started writing, so middle school was very fresh in my mind, and a lot of the things that happened in the book were drawn from real life.
Naja and Malachai: Why and how did you want to be an author?
I've always loved to write, and I adore reading, so I think becoming a writer was in the cards for me. Finn and Tahirou: Was there anyone who inspired you to become an author?
My mom. She believed that I would be a writer someday. She was convinced of it. Group questions: It's quite unusual to publish an extra chapter to a book after it's been published. Why did you write the Julian chapter?
I had purposely avoided writing from Julian's point of view in Wonder because the book's focus is August Pullman, and I felt like Julian's story took away from that. So I didn't want to include Julian in Wonder. But I also knew Julian had a story to tell on his own, and that his story would shed some light on his character. Hence the additional chapter.
What do you hope the Julian chapter adds to Wonder?
I think it's always important to remember that everyone has a story to tell, and though we shouldn't forgive Julian for all the meanness he brought to Auggie, we also need to find some compassion for the things he was going through which brought him to that point. I don't believe there's such a thing as an "unredeemable" kid, not at that age certainly, and I knew Julian had another side to him that was worth exploring.
Can you tell us more about your new book (365 Days of Wonder) on the precepts?
In Wonder, Mr Browne uses precepts as a way of introducing his students to lofty concepts having to do with the way they interact with the world. I decided to publish a book that includes one of his precepts for every single day of the year. They're quotes that are meant to inspire, motivate, and remind readers that human beings are capable of so much good. As Thomas Browne said, "the wonders we seek around us are already within us". What message do you hope people will take away after reading Wonder?
I hope that readers will feel inspired to really be kind to one another, to remember that we're in this world together.
What's your next book going to be about?
I'm working on two other short ebooks in the Wonder world, and then moving on to something completely new (which is still top secret!).
Help us celebrate 365 Days of Wonder by joining in on the Words of Wisdom to Live By campaign. Watch the trailer and tell us on twitter your words of wisdom using @RHKidsUK #choosekind
Wonder Essay Topics will get learners engaging with meaningful topics the novel raises:
> Theme - Precepts & Truth
> Character - Auggie & Sameness
> Setting - School
NOVEL: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
LEVEL: 5th - 12th
COMMON CORE: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1
This resource can be purchased as part of WONDER Unit Palacio R.J. Novel Teaching Package.
They can then choose to write an essay or deliver a speech on their ideas from Wonder. The grading rubrics are included for easy, effective grading and feedback.
NOTE: 2 versions are provided: 1 with the background graphics and 1 without the background graphics.
Enjoy Wonder! And remember...When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.
SEE THESE OTHER WONDER RESOURCES:
> WONDER Unit Palacio R.J. Novel Teaching Package
> PreReading Bias Activity
> Mr. Browne's Precepts (10 Posters)
> Plot Chart Organizer
> Conflict Graphic Organizer - 6 Types of Conflict
> Characters Organizer
> Setting Organizer - Physical & Emotional
> Palacio R.J. Novel Journal - Quickwrite Writing Prompts - PowerPoint
> 5 Pop Quizzes Bundle
> Figurative Language Bundle
> Vocabulary Complete Novel (75 words)
> Vocabulary List and Quiz (15 words, pgs 1-57)
> Vocabulary List and Quiz (15 words, pgs 58-102)
> Vocabulary List and Quiz (15 words, pgs 103-161)
> Vocabulary List and Quiz (15 words, pgs 162-244)
> Vocabulary List and Quiz (15 words, pgs 245-307)
> Auggie's Favorite Song (Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side)
> When September Ends Green Day Analysis
> Beautiful Christina Aguliera Analysis
> Essay Topics & Grading Rubrics
> Movie vs. Novel Comparison
OTHER NOVEL UNITS:
> ANNE FRANK Unit Teaching Package
> BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA Unit Teaching Package
> BUD, NOT BUDDY Unit Teaching Package (by Christopher Paul Curtis)
> CATCHER IN THE RYE Unit Teaching Package (by J.D. Salinger)
> CHRISTMAS CAROL Unit Teaching Package (by Charles Dickens)
> DIVERGENT Unit Teaching Package (by Veronica Roth)
> ENDER'S GAME Unit Teaching Package (by Orson Scott Card)
> ESPERANZA RISING Unit Teaching Package (by Pam Munoz Ryan)
> FAHRENHEIT 451 Unit Teaching Package (by Ray Bradbury)
> FAULT IN OUR STARS Unit Teaching Package (by John Green)
> FREAK THE MIGHTY Unit Teaching Package (by Rodman Philbrick)
> GIVER Unit Teaching Package (by Lois Lowry)
> GREAT GATSBY Unit Teaching Package (by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
> HATCHET Unit Teaching Package (by Gary Paulsen)
> HOLES Unit Teaching Package (by Louis Sachar)
> HUNGER GAMES Unit Teaching Package (by Suzanne Collins)
> IF I STAY Unit Teaching Package (by Gayle Forman)
> ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS Unit Teaching Package (by Scott O'Dell)
> JULIUS CAESAR Unit Teaching Package (by William Shakespeare)
> LORD OF THE FLIES Unit Teaching Package (by William Golding)
> MAZE RUNNER Unit Teaching Package (by James Dashner)
> NIGHT Unit Teaching Package (by Elie Wiesel)
> NUMBER THE STARS Unit Teaching Package (by Lois Lowry)
> OF MICE AND MEN Unit Teaching Package (by John Steinbeck)
> OUTSIDERS Unit Teaching Package (by S.E. Hinton)
> PAPER TOWNS Unit Teaching Package (by John Green)
> ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY Unit Teaching Package (by Mildred Taylor)
> ROMEO AND JULIET Unit Teaching Package (by William Shakespeare)
> TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Unit Teaching Package (by Harper Lee)
> TUCK EVERLASTING Unit Teaching Package
> UNWIND Unit Teaching Package by Neal Shusterman
> WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM Unit Teaching Package
> WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS Unit Teaching Package
> WONDER Unit Teaching Package
> Poetry Unit Complete PowerPoint and Packet - Genres, Forms, Techniques, Devices
> Commas Complete Unit - Lessons, Assessments, Answer Keys - Grammar Ninja
> Parts of Speech Complete Unit - Lessons, Assessments, Answers - Grammar Ninja
> Subjects Verbs Complete Unit - Lessons, Assessments, Answer Keys - Grammar Ninja