So I'm going to showcase the best junior novel I have read since becoming a Teacher-Librarian. Wonder by R. J. Polacio is the book that deserves the esteemed position as post #1 - This book, I believe, should be required reading for all students at some point during their junior years (grade 4-6). I would even recommend it to classes and students in intermediate. Great as a read aloud or as an independent read. Not only will you fall in love with Auggie Pullman, you will never forget his spirit. What I truly love about this book, is that you see the differing perspectives of all the main characters. They all add layers to the plot. Life is not always as simple as a single character describing the world and their interactions. Many people are affected by August Pullman as he enters grade five having never gone to school before. Fact: You WILL fall in love with Auggie. Fact: You will NEVER forget his beautiful spirit.
How would Mrs. D use this book?
I would read this book as the first read aloud of the year. Hopefully it will be new to everyone, but that is hard with such a popular book! Reading a book all together, early in the year, will allow you to refer to the themes, characters, setting etc, if necessary for the entire year. If you only do one read aloud (gasp!) make sure it’s early in the year. Everyone will be on the same page when you make statements like: ‘Remember how Auggie felt when he was about to go on a class trip for the first time ever?' And hopefully they WILL remember. If they don’t – you will have your modeled and shared reading responses to remind them!