Monday, October 1, 2012

#WONDERschools Blog Tour: My Favorite WONDER Experience

Hi, everybody! I know it's been CENTURIES since I've posted here (you can always find me on Twitter, though!) and SO MUCH has happened--book events and festivals and tons of terrific BOY + BOT stuff--and I want to tell you about all of it...
But not today. Today, I want to talk about the #WONDERschools Blog Tour, and my favorite experience with this absolutely amazing book.
Teacher pal David A. Etkin started the #WONDERschools initative to get schools and libraries to collaborate on how they teach WONDER. Random House thought that this was way cool. Together, David and RH brainstormed the #WONDERschools blog tour--nine days of schools and libraries posting about how they're using WONDER and its lessons in their school, library, or community. WONDER author R.J. Palacio will post on October 10th, "Unity Day" (and Auggie's birthday!). The blog lineup and all the good info is here:
I know you're saying, "But, Ame! You're not a school! You're not a library!"
THAT'S WHAT I SAID! But David knows how much I LOVE this book, and encouraged me to write a post anyway.
I'm happy I did.
Hope you are, too.
Here we go!

My Favorite WONDER Experience

            Before this morning, if you’d asked me what my favorite WONDER experience was—not counting when I first read it and the #SharpSchu Book Club discussion—I would’ve said this:
            Even though I already owned a copy of WONDER, and even though I’d already read it several times, when a copy was re-shelved in the “New Books” display at my public library while I was standing right there, I had to pick it up and have a peek. 
            Of course the book opened to One Of The Eight Parts in WONDER That Makes Me Cry.
            Was it one of the heart-achingly sad parts?  Or the heart-achingly beautiful parts?
            Doesn’t matter, does it?
            “Shut the book!” my head commanded.  “We’re in public! 
            But I didn’t listen to my head.  Even though I knew what was coming.
            Tears.  Streaming tears.  And those nose sniffles—the ones that are way too loud in the library.
            I prayed no one would notice.
            Of course, someone noticed.
            “What’s wrong, hon?” another patron asked.
            I couldn’t answer.  I just pointed at WONDER.
            Her face lit up in recognition.  “Oh.  I know, right?”
            But this morning, during The Weekday 7:35 Frenzy, I got a new WONDER favorite moment:
            The Kid came up to me with WONDER in her hand.
            “Can I bring this to school?” she asked.
            I stopped.  The Frenzy stopped.  Everything stopped.
            Then I smiled and said, “Sure, hon.”
            I waved from the window as Husband Guy and The Kid—her backpack a little heavier than usual—made their customary dash to the school bus stop.
            And yes, there were more (happy) tears and sniffles.
            You know, right?
            Of course.