RAM Readers Spring 2020 discussion

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Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (drld) | 24 comments Mod
A must read for all educators. Don't cheat by watching the movie! It's not as good!


message 2: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments • I had watched the movie by the time I read the book. I had to admit that the movie was great, but the book was excellent even though they were not quite the same. I would like to share some reflections on the film along with my book report.

• My memories from the movie: I really do not think Auggie is ugly, he is just different and has some marks on his face. Besides, he has such a lovely voice and a brilliant head! Olivia (Via) who is Auggie’s older sister. She is a bit ignored by the parents because the whole family puts too much attention on Auggie based on his special needs. They do love and support her, but as a high school teenager, she wants more than she has in order to deal with life struggles. However, Via still tries to be very understanding and encourages and loves her brother even she has been through some hardships. I could not help it when I was watching the movie. My tears were rolling down my face once or twice because I felt so touched. “Everyone is not ordinary. All you have to do is look with your mind! When you have to choose between what is right and what is kind, choose kind, and just be kind!”

• My flections upon the book: Compared to the movie, books usually give more details. Wonder consists of eight parts from six different characters’ perspectives (August, Via, Summer, Jack, Justin, and Miranda). I like how each part starts with a good quote. We can see so many themes through out the whole book, such as typical teenage pettiness, different kinds of friendship, romantic love, family love, real school life, campus bullying, family issues, parental methods, educator’s philosophy and so forth. I like the principal Mr. Tushman who is a very nice person. By reading his part, I also found something interesting. People from the western cultures always keep some meaningful photographs and framed paintings in the office, which I do not observe a lot in my country. I assume this is also a cultural difference. I also like the idea of Mr. Browne’s monthly precepts. It is such a good way to start the first day of school.

• In the beginning, people do not know August very well because of his face. They are watching him out of the corners of their eyes. Luckily, he has a humorous dad, a patient mother, and a supportive sister. The parents have conversations with the kids all the time and read aloud before bedtime. Besides, I quite admire Jack’s mother. She talks to children and teaches them be kind and sympathetic that is also the main idea of this book. She makes sure that her children are aware of their wrong behaviors. I always consider the family environment plays an important in children’s development.

• I observed that children have more school activities than I had when I was young. In August grade, they had Egyptian Museum Day, dress up in costumes on Halloween, Science-fair Project, New Year Art Show, Nature Retreat and so on. These activities give me more ideas in teaching, and I do believe they hold positive effects on kids. One of the reasons I like reading is that I feel so good when I see the books I read before being mentioned in the book I am reading. For example, this book brings up some books like Dairy of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, War and Peace, the Witch and the Wardrobe and so on. I consider this is one of the best moments of reading.


message 3: by Diana (last edited Apr 29, 2020 08:24PM) (new)

Diana | 31 comments This novel was actually one of the books I didn't want to read because I've heard this book made people cry. I personally do not want to read books that can make me cry but I did read it and I did cry (if you were wondering I cried when Daisy died). This novel is life written in words. This novel included funny, painful, and sweet moments of life but most of all it showed how to be a better person.
There are two quotes that I believe everyone should know and understand definitely adults.
Mr. Tushman- there are two sides to every story. I like how the novel corporated the principles believes by breaking the novel into 6 different perspectives. By doing this the reader can understand why the character reacted to the situation differently. A great example of this Mirada's popularity in high school. Via saw this as a chance to fix in, new sleet, but for Mirada, this was her cry for help. She didn't get the attention of her parents because of the divorce so she found her attention needs from her classmates. By understanding both sides of the story, one can better approach the situation.
Isabel Pullman- the apple doesn't fall far the tree (can a negative or a positive). Julian is a great example of an apple. Julian is a kid that is sweet to the adults but a different towards kids. He knows what he doing is not right (making a comment about Auggie braid) but yet does he what makes him happy. He has no consideration for other people and their feeling. The tree in this situation will be his mother. She believes this all started because of her angel of a son was being forced to be friends with a mentally challenged student. It would be best to reconsider August attending the school. This whole situation blows up in Julian and his mother's face when Julian ended up being the outcast of the school and decided not to return to the prep school. Some novels are not meant to be made into movies and I believe this book is one of them. Sometimes Hollywood ruins the words that are meant to be read.
Both of these quotes are simple but yet powerful. Choose Kind.


message 4: by ThaoTam (last edited Apr 28, 2020 11:05PM) (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Wonder is a special story that good for adolescents, why?
Wonder is a story about August or "Auggie" Pullman, a ten-year-old boy living in New York City, was born with a facial deformity that has made it difficult for him to make friends and he lives with his family. At the beginning of the book I was really worried about August, what will he face with the other people around him? How does he feel? Because he has different outside so he has been homeschooled until the fifth grade, but his parents have decided that it is time for him to go to a real school. That is a difficult decision with his parents but he does!!!!

“The wonder” comes from his parents and his sister. They always love him, worry about him. The story becomes different and funny by his parents. They know the way how to encourage him and always give him a positive spirit. Letting him study at school is a difficult decision for his parents and I admire them and the way the let him grow up. It is different from Vietnam and the other country in Asia. Asian parents love their children and they always want to protect them, they help them to do almost everything and give them the best. Sometimes they love them too much and their children can’t grow up, can’t succeed in their life and can’t live without parents.

“ The wonder” comes from how hard August tries to make friends and get along with them. In the story, our heart is warmer by the way treat people to people, such as principle Tushman who always put him in students situation and understand them; teacher Browne who teach student many good things and a friend Summer who can sit and have lunch with August. And all the story we can’t see everything is wonderful. We can see Jullian and his parents who hate August and always find a way to let him down such as they use photoshop to delete his face out of the class picture… But if they don’t exist in the story how can we realize the “wonder” that the other people give August
The book full of love and many interesting stories about our life!


message 5: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments Even though I felt bad reading about August´s story, especially the part that says that he had twenty-seven surgeries trying to correct various issues related to his genetic conditions, I like this novel. We live in a world that we need to look good to be valued and accepted. This reading works as a remind not only for adolescents but for all ages that worth being brave and go for our goals and do not care about people´s judgment and bias. I found it sad and funny when Auggie says that “Halloween” is his favorite holiday because no one judges him for what he looks like.
August Pullman is a ten-years-old-boy that does the normal things that other boys in his age do. He likes ice cream and riding his bike. He plays ball and has an Xbox, but due to genetic problems, he had his face misshaped and will never look normal. Things are tough for August and his family. His protective sister, Via, feels angry when people stare at him. Despite this situation, Auggie goes to school and suffers all kinds of bullying because of his appearance. At the end of the novel, he receives an award during his graduation for inspiring kindness during the school year. It makes people value him for who he is as a human being and not for his appearance.
It is clear that the author does not create a favorable world for the protagonist, but readers can see something beautiful despite the sadness. This novel inspires people to value and appreciate what they have in their lives


message 6: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments Diana wrote: "This novel was actually one of the books I didn't want to read because I've heard this book made people cry. I personally do not want to read books that can make me cry but I did read it and I did ..."

Hey Diana,

I like how you share two of your favorite quotes with us and give your interpretations along with them. Good job! I totally agree with you that readers can see different sides of one fact through varying perspectives. I feel shocked/annoyed/amused how people are thinking different towards one little thing. That's a unique way to covey messages.

Yao Chen


message 7: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments ThaoTam wrote: "Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Wonder is a special story that good for adolescents, why?
Wonder is a story about August or "Auggie" Pullman, a ten-year-old boy living in New York City, was born with a fac..."


Hey ThaoTam,

I like how you form your initial response of this book. Yes, August is a wonder, but it also comes from his family, friends, and society. I also see cultural differences thought out reading this book. And you see something different from me. I agree that when parents are trying to interrupt too much of their kid's lives, it makes hard for them to grow up.

Yao Chen


message 8: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments Wonder reminds me a lot of the last novel we read (Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie) in that it addresses what life is like for everyone in a family that has a child with either a disease or ailment. In this case, Auggie is otherwise fine except for his physical deformity--he is incredibly smart, kind, funny, and loves the same things that other boys his age love. Unfortunately, his physical deformity is enough to turn his and his family's life entirely upside down.

'Life is unfair' becomes an understatement for the entire Pullman family. Not only do we hear the heartbreaking ridicule and judgement that Auggie must endure on a daily basis, but we also get a glimpse into how Auggie's struggles affect his entire family. His sister, Olivia, comes in second to Auggie's needs, and although she is a loving and protective sister, she still feels invisible. The Pullman parents have spent so many years preoccupied with Auggie that Olivia has learned to adapt. I think novels that spotlight the struggles of the siblings of a special-needs child are so important in giving the typically invisible a voice.

I think the title "Wonder" is truly fitting. Auggie is such a wonder: he defies the medical odds, he proves that physical deformities don't define a person's intellectual abilities, and he just makes others wonder. The other characters featured in each chapter are all going through a state of wonder. In the end, I also think this novel leaves the reader wondering about how Auggie's story turns out--how all of the characters' stories turn out.


message 9: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments Yao wrote: "• I had watched the movie by the time I read the book. I had to admit that the movie was great, but the book was excellent even though they were not quite the same. I would like to share some refle..."

Yao: Thank you for sharing that you discovered our Western culture's tendency to display pictures or drawings of our loved ones! That's a fascinating difference. I love learning about the small, but unique differences between cultures. I know I display pictures of my daughter to act as a sweet reminder during my work day. Also, it gives others a small glimpse into our lives and can sometimes serve as a conversation starter.


message 10: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments Lourdes wrote: "Even though I felt bad reading about August´s story, especially the part that says that he had twenty-seven surgeries trying to correct various issues related to his genetic conditions, I like this..."

Lourdes: It was definitely hard to read that Auggie likes Halloween because no one judges him on that day, and he finally blends in. I can't imagine a child feeling so insecure about his/her appearance that a mask feels safe. As a mom, my heart breaks for Auggie. I also feel for the parents who experience this with their children, for whatever reason. To see the beauty in your child, yet they don't see it in themselves....I can't imagine.


message 11: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments Wonder

I love this book! I first read it as a part of a literature circle in one of my courses. I loved it. I especially liked that we were able to meet multiple times to talk about our thoughts as we read the book. So, I was so excited to see that I would have a reason to reread it. (Not that you need one). I think the layout of this book is something that I love. I like how it bounces from one perspective to another. I feel like it brings something interesting to the storyline.

I think that of how brave Auggie is, and I wonder if I would be the same way if I were born like Auggie. At times, the reader can see that Auggie struggles to put a brave face on, especially with Liv, but he still does it. I think that it is incredible for someone so young. Part of it is his family. His parents and sister are beyond supportive and treat him like a normal person, even if they are overprotected at times.

One thing that stuck out for me was that there were adults that were so mean. I expected the students to be mean and inconsiderate towards Auggie, but reading the part about the edited class picture, I was so upset. I couldn't understand how an educated adult could be that way towards a child. I know there are people like that in the world, but I am thankful that my interactions with people like that are few and far between.


message 12: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments The book tells the story of August, a 10-year-old boy who was born with a genetic syndrome and consequently has a severe facial deformity. Having never attended school, due to the various surgeries she performed on her face, her mother taught her what she could at home until she and her father decided it was time to move on.
After a lot of resistance, and knowing the challenge he will face, August starts attending the 5th year of elementary school at the Beecher Prep school. There he will have to face cruel jokes and questions, curious looks, and prove to everyone that, despite his unusual appearance, he is a boy like everyone else. Wonder is narrated in first person, and has a simple language that exactly reflects the age of the character.
Having an admirable relationship with his parents, sister and friends Summer and Jack Will, August is a conscious, understandable boy, and as the book progresses he only becomes more mature, and the reader more in love with him.
Extraordinary makes us rethink our concepts and it is a huge request for more kindness and love for others.


message 13: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Jackie wrote: "Wonder

I love this book! I first read it as a part of a literature circle in one of my courses. I loved it. I especially liked that we were able to meet multiple times to talk about our thoughts a..."


Jackie
I agree with you the part that is sad is when Adults get involved and make jokes, it is very impacting when we imagine that schools are a welcome to a place to everyone does not matter their physical appearance or any prejudice. However, some people don't love themselves, they can't love someone.


message 14: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Lourdes wrote: "Even though I felt bad reading about August´s story, especially the part that says that he had twenty-seven surgeries trying to correct various issues related to his genetic conditions,


message 15: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments Natalie wrote: "Wonder reminds me a lot of the last novel we read (Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie) in that it addresses what life is like for everyone in a family that has a child with either a disease or ailment..."

Hi Natalie,
You mention a good point. Siblings of a special-needs child tend to be forgotten by their parents. I agree with you that some authors have been calling people attention mentioning this issue.


message 16: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments Bruna wrote: "The book tells the story of August, a 10-year-old boy who was born with a genetic syndrome and consequently has a severe facial deformity. Having never attended school, due to the various surgeries..."

Hi Bruna,
It is unbelievable how people tend to judge and to make fun of others. The way I see it is that human beings have difficulties in dealing with differences, and the easy reaction is to criticize and make jokes about it, instead of having understanding and empathy.


message 17: by ThaoTam (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments Natalie wrote: "Wonder reminds me a lot of the last novel we read (Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie) in that it addresses what life is like for everyone in a family that has a child with either a disease or ailment..."

Hi Natalie!
I like your idea, " life is unfair", it is correct. When you face with a problem, you will ask yourself why it happened with you?. But after that, you will try all your best to solve this problem. And at that time, you feel strongerand you are mature. That is the life


message 18: by ThaoTam (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments Jackie wrote: "Wonder

I love this book! I first read it as a part of a literature circle in one of my courses. I loved it. I especially liked that we were able to meet multiple times to talk about our thoughts a..."


Hi Jackie!
i got the same feeling with you about adult behavior. Of cause, it can be hurt August and his family but there is one dangerous thing happens that their children will remember their behavior and they will copy them, they will become like them in the future! because children is a white paper, they will copy anything from their parents!


message 19: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments ThaoTam wrote: "Jackie wrote: "Wonder

I love this book! I first read it as a part of a literature circle in one of my courses. I loved it. I especially liked that we were able to meet multiple times to talk about..."


Hi Thao,

Yes! When children are raised in this environment, they are raising believing that it is okay to treat people this way. I never want to be that kind of person and I want to share with children that it is not okay to bully or be mean to anyone. It is important to teach each other that it is okay to speak up and stand up to people who are mean.


message 20: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments Bruna wrote: "Jackie wrote: "Wonder

I love this book! I first read it as a part of a literature circle in one of my courses. I loved it. I especially liked that we were able to meet multiple times to talk about..."


Hi Bruna!

You make an excellent point. Mean people can be terrible at times because they are unable to love others. That inability to love others stems from not loving themselves. I think I am often so saddened by how they treat others, especially children, that I don't realize that they are hurt in some way too. This is why it is incredibly important to be kind to everyone. You never know what someone else is going through.


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