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Wonder - Livin' the Good Life

Feb. 23rd, 2013

08:28 am - Wonder

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I just finished an "I can't put it down" book that I ordered from the public library. I'd read about it in a children's book catalog and, on impulse, decided to give it a try. The title is WONDER by R.J. Palacio. At first I thought it might be an autobiography, but very soon I realized it was a novel. The story seemed just too good to be true. It's a story of a boy whose face was grossly deformed from birth. Eyes in the wrong place and at the wrong angle, missing ears, stuff like that. The whole story takes place during his 5th grade year and details how he handled going to school for the first time. This is a story of "doing the right thing". The quote on the front of the book says, "A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation." That just about sums it up. The story is told from several different peoples' perspectives, which I think is a really interesting way to tell a story.

What I loved most about this story is that many of the people, particularly the boy's family, treated him, and everyone else, with exemplary consideration and loving kindness. It was almost unbelievable... but oh, so warm and fuzzy! It felt so good to read how, time after time, they handled very sticky and triggering situations in an ideal way. (Maybe not always immediately, but eventually.) I think the author was just trying to give positive alternatives to what really happens to people like this boy. How must we treat disabled, disfigured and otherwise compromised people? The author provides a model in a very entertaining way. Though there were plenty of people, mainly kids, who were doing the wrong thing in this story, there were enough people doing the right thing to turn the tide. It clearly shows how important a person's family, a person's base, is to how life is going to go for them.

My favorite quote from the book was, "Shall we make a new rule of life... always to try to be a little kinder than necessary?" which was a quote by J.M. Barrie, author of PETER PAN. I loved this. Not just "be kind", but "kinder than necessary." This book shows how.

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 24th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
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Good thing I read your blog yesterday. We went to a play last night across town. I wanted to get specific seats so Elora could experience the round theater up close. We got there a whole hour early....the very first ones in line. Or so I thought. Then after that hour of standing was just about over a lady and her granddaughter came and stood in front of us claiming they were to be first. I had seen them sitting on a couch for the past 45 minutes...a distance from the line we were in. My first thought was how unfair and even rude. But then I heard your blog post line in my mind, "Be kinder than necessary." So I smiled and talked to them. Elora whispered to me, "That girl is blind Grandma." I hadn't even picked up on that. And further while talking to this pair, I found out they had been waiting since 3pm to get into the theater! That's 4 hours! They must have been out of town. The play we saw was The Miracle Worker. I'm guessing that Grandma was trying to do whatever she could to share that play with her blind granddaughter.

"Be kinder than necessary" is my new slogan.

GH
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From:lestermom
Date:February 24th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
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GH, you are one of the kindest people I know. So like you to take this post to heart.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 24th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
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I just ordered it. You about had me sold and then I just watched the trailer and heard the quote, "You can't exactly blend in when you were born to stand out." and that sealed the deal. Love that!
I will read it and then pass it on to Elora. She is very aware of people with disabilities so I know she will relate to this story.
GH
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From:lestermom
Date:February 24th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Trailer? What trailer? You mean a movie trailer?
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