“Choose Kind” in Action and Spirit
On January 24, I was lucky to hear R.J. Palacio speak about her middle-grade novel Wonder, which I had just finished reading. The book has sold over 1.5 million copies since it was published in 2012. The event was sponsored by The Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills and held in Millburn High School’s auditorium. I couldn’t wait to go! (shout out to my SCBWI critique group writers who joined me)
- Becoming a mom led her to rediscover her love of children’s books. (same with me!)
- Inspiration for the book came from a “true event” where she hurried her sons away from a little girl who looked like Auggie, the main character in Wonder. She said, “I had blown it” and couldn’t shake the the way she had handled the encounter.
- She and her husband made their own trailer for the book, which was considered mid-list and not projected to sell well.
- A picture book based on the novel is due out this spring
- A movie based on the novel is opening the spring.
- Her mom told her, “You’re going to be a writer one day.” (same with me!)
The Ed Foundation’s site says
R.J. Palacio addressed a full house on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 at the Millburn High School discussing how she came up with the idea for her book and how the message of the book has launched an international revolution inspiring all to embrace the theme of choosing kindness everyday.
Over 700 people listened intently to how a book about an ordinary 10-year old boy with a facial deformity resonated with tens of thousands of readers of all ages.
Ms. Palacio passionately spoke to the audience on the virtues of respect, tolerance, and inclusion as a means to heal a world so often divided by cruelty, judgment, and bullying. She shared examples of what students across the country are doing to show empathy and kindness in everyday life.
Click here to see kids actives based on the book.