Celebrate the “Wonder” of Friendship this November #teachmetuesday

Compassion, kindness, and empathy are virtues we hope to instill in our children. But how do we best teach our kids to be inclusive and respectful towards others?

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week runs from November 19th to 25th and is dedicated to encouraging positive student behaviour and relationships. During this time, many schools, with the help of students, parents, and educators, plan initiatives to promote a safe learning environment.

Given this, it’s quite fitting that the debut of Wonder is taking place on November 17. This major motion picture features Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay and is based on the bestselling children’s novel of the same name. It promotes a core message to “choose kind” and has captured the hearts of readers of all ages.

Wonder is followed by three companion books that explore the themes of courage, friendship, and overcoming adversity. Stories like this can have a tremendous impact on youth and provide a non-threatening way to open up honest dialogue and communication between students and the adults who love them.

This month I recommend a book club dedicated to this special series followed by a trip to see the movie. Reinforce the message of kindness by reading one (or all) of these four books:

Warning: these heartwarming reads should not be attempted without a box of tissues!


Written by R.J. Palacio

For ages: 8 – 12

If you only pick up one book from the Wonder family, then start with the original. Written in the voices of children, this chapter book follows fifth grader Auggie Pullman who was born with a facial deformity. This story is about his quest to be treated like a regular kid and to fit into his new school. Although it’s officially recommended for middle-school students, it can be shared and appreciated by multiple audiences.












We’re All Wonders

Written and Illustrated by R.J. Palacio

For age: 4 – 8

This newest addition to the Wonder franchise introduces younger readers to the series’ central message of kindness. Fans will particularly enjoy introducing little ones to this adventure featuring Auggie and his dog Daisy. Fun fact: this picture book is written and illustrated by the creator, R.J. Palacio.












365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts

Written by R.J. Palacio

For ages: 8 – 12

This book has a Chicken Soup for the Soul feel with a goal to inspire readers throughout the calendar year. It’s told in the narrative voice of Auggie’s English teacher, Mr. Browne and offers 365 precepts or words to live by. The inspirational quotes are curated from famous figures, celebrities, characters from the book Wonder, and over 100 readers who wrote in to the author (including Canadian students).












Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories

Written by R.J. Palacio

For ages: 8 – 12

This collection of short stories is for devotees who want to delve deeper into the complexities of Wonder’s other characters. They were originally published as separate e-books and are told from the perspective of three Wonder personalities: Julian, the “bully,” Christopher the childhood best friend, and Charlotte, one of Auggie’s classmates.











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