Picture Books are a big part of my life as a mom with a 4 year old and 3 year old daughter. These
For middle-grade my pick is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else? Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too. A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.
When I make time to read for myself the first thing I grab for is poetry. It has always captured my heart and I have to say that in many ways it has saved my life. These three collections were my favorite reads this year.
|These poems broke me open and then put me back together.|
|Mary Oliver's collection released this fall. The dust jacket is missing already and I have glued a bee emblem to the front. I have made this book mine, inside and out.|
|Although an older collection from Wyatt Townley, I read it for the first time this year. I drank it in and let it settle into my bones.|