Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Club Ideas for "Wonder" {by RJ Palacio}

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

I am SO excited to be sharing our book club ideas for this incredible book. We all fell in love with "Auggie" and the wonder of WONDER and if you haven't already, it's time you did.


Mr. Browne is one of Augusts teachers in the book and he begins his first day of teaching English to his 5th grade class with a lesson on precepts. “Does anyone know what a precept is?” he asks the class, and after some discussion, he informs the kids that precepts are “rules about really important things.” In a nutshell, precepts are words to live by.

365 days of Wonder is a companion book featuring conversations between Mr. Browne and Auggie, Julian, Summer, Jack, Will, and others, giving readers a special peek at their lives after Wonder ends. Mr. Browne's essays and correspondence are rounded out by a precept for each day of the year.

Mr. Browne's precepts play an important part in Wonder. In addition to his precepts, Auggie and his classmates offer some of their own over the summer so we thought it fitting to have each book club member share one of their own precepts.

Many of us found it hard to narrow our favorite personal precepts to choosing just one but here's what we came up wtih...


Remember writing notes to friends in school and folding them so intricately it was practically an art form? What about when you constructed those paper fortune teller games that would determine who you were going to marry and if you were going to be rich or poor?

If you'd like to know your fortune and find out who you are suppose to marry than learn how HERE.  

Skip to my Lou also has a DARLING free printable for a paper fortune teller creative Melissa from I*S*L*Y that will help keep you and your kiddos busy this summer!

Our book Moderator Angie had an awesome give-a-way gift.
Every member that came to our meeting put their name into a brown sack and then Angie had someone draw the name of the lucky winner.

and the lucky winner was.... Alex!

Angie found most of the items in the gift at Target in the dollar spot section (my favorite.)
Since it's so close to Back to School time, Target has tons of school themed supplies.
Alex won: 365 Days of Wonder, a darling mint thermos, colored chalk and a insulated lunch bag. 

Angie created some simple decorations to transform us to an elementary school classroom. She made this simple garland out of twine and whiteboard cards that look like paper from the dollar spot at Target. She hand wrote, "Wonder" with a letter on each card. 

The second garland is a chalkboard garland that she wrote on with chalk. I love easy decor that looks great!

Angie had a playlist going while we ate that was full of the songs mentioned through out the book. I've posted the playlist below.

The following songs were all mentioned or referenced in the book.
1.        WONDER by Natalie Merchant
2.       SPACE ODDITY by David Bowie
3.       LUCKIEST GUY ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE by The Magnetic Fields
4.       SOLDIER’S JOY by Anonymous
5.        BEAUTIFUL CHILD by Annie Lennox
6.       BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Andain
7.        STAR WARS: THRONE ROOM SCENE by John Williams
8.       BEAUTIFUL by Christina Aguilera
9.       CANON in D by Pachelbel
10.     UNDER PRESSURE by Queen
BONUS SONG: KID by RickoLus (not officially in the book, but since we used it in the book trailer it’s part of the WONDER world now.

These cute teacher pocket charts helped add that classroom charm.

And you can't have a WONDER book club without the infamous Astronaut helmet

Background on the helmet:
Ten-year-old August Pullman has never been to school. A veteran of surgical procedures ("twenty seven since he was born"), he has a severe facial deformity. The only night of the year Auggie feels normal is Halloween, because everyone's wearing a mask. At one point Auggie wore a toy astronaut's helmet for two years, never taking it off. Fortunately Auggie's dad misses his son's face so much that he secretly threw away the helmet, bringing his young astronaut reluctantly back to earth. And in doing so, we understand that the helmet was a tool for a kid, and that now Auggie's growing up.

Thank you RACHEL for modeling this helmet for us, you're a good sport and of course YOU make it look GOOOOOD.

Everyone brought food to put in a brown bag for our first ever Sack Lunch food swap!
Angie attached these great quotes on the back of each bag, kind of like a note from mom, reminding you how wonderful you are and that you are loved.



Angie allowed us to discuss things in a very flexible nature along with a few topic prompts. 
Here's a great list of questions you can use to help generate discussion at your book club.

Wonder Discussion Questions

1. What do you think of the line "Don’t judge a boy by his face" which appears on the back cover of the book? Did this affect how much you wanted to read the story? How much did this line give away about the story you were about to read?

2. Throughout Wonder, Auggie describes the way that many people react to seeing his face for the first time: by immediately looking away. Have you ever been in a situation where you have responded like this to seeing someone different? Having now read Wonder, how do you feel about this now?

3. Auggie’s face is not fully described until quite far on in the story, in Via’s chapter "August: Through the Peephole." How close was this description to your own mental picture of Auggie? Did you have a picture of his face in your mind while reading the book? Did this description alter that picture?

4. How would you describe Auggie as a person in the first few chapters of the book? What about the final few chapters? Has he changed significantly? Are there any experiences or episodes during the story that you think had a particular effect on him? If so, how?

5. In the chapter "Costumes" Auggie describes the astronaut helmet that he wore constantly as a younger child. We later learn that Miranda was the one to give Auggie the helmet, and is proud of the gift, but that it was Auggie’s father who threw it away. What do you think the helmet signifies to each of these characters and why do you think they all view it so differently?

6. Star Wars is one of Auggie’s passions. Why do you think this is? Do you see any reasons for Auggie to identify with these characters, or to aspire to be like them?

7. Auggie’s parents bring Auggie around to the idea of attending school by joking with him about Mr Tushman’s name, and telling him about their old college professor, Bobbie Butt. To what extent is humour used as a tool throughout Wonder to diffuse difficult or tense situations, or to convey a part of the story that would otherwise be depressing or sad? Look at the chapter, "How I Came To Life."

8. What did you think of Via as a character? Did you empathise with her? Why do you think Via was so angry to learn that Auggie cut off his Padawan braid? Do you think Via’s own attitude towards her brother changes throughout the story?
9. Look at the emails between Mr Tushman, Julian’s parents and Jack’s parents in the chapter "Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts." Up to this point in the story we have seen how the children at Auggie’s school have reacted to him. Is Mrs Albans’ attitude towards Auggie different? What do you make of her statement that Auggie is handicapped? Do you think she is correct in saying that asking "ordinary" children, such as Julian, to befriend Auggie places a burden on them?

10. The author has explained that she was inspired to write Wonder after an experience at a local ice cream parlour, very similar to the scene described in the chapter "Carvel," where Jack sees Auggie for the first time. In this scene, Jack’s babysitter Veronica chooses to get up and quickly walk Jack and his little brother Jamie away from Auggie, rather than risk Jamie saying something rude or hurtful. What do you think you would have done, if put in that position?

11. The precepts (rules to live by) discuss the ones that spoke to you.


I hope this gave you some good ideas to use for your book club for,
by RJ Palacio

Read our book club's review and star rating of Wonder

Thank you Summer from Summer Nicole Photography for these beautiful photos.

Thank you again to Angie for moderating and Carissa for hosting. 
Love you girls!


Jenny said...

Your book clubs are SOOOO amazing! Thanks for sharing all the juicy details. I can't wait to read the book.

Kelly said...

Our book discussion group at the library I work for chose Wonder for next year and I can't wait to use some of your ideas when I lead the discussion!

Kerry said...

Where did you get the chalkboard signs for the precepts? I would love to do this at our book group this week!

Unknown said...

Glad we could help Kelly and Kerry, we got our signs from all over but a couple were just from the craft section of wal-mart!

Starr said...

Could you share where you purchased your adorable foldable helmet?