When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind – Wonder
I first heard about Wonder from my 10-year-old son, who was reading the novel by R.J. Palacio with his class. The book, which was inspired by an encounter the author had with a girl who suffered from facial birth defects, is a New York Times Bestseller and has won numerous awards for excellence. In that encounter, Palacio feared her 3-year-old son would react negatively to the girl, so she attempted to remove her son from the situation so that the girl or her family would not be upset. Unfortunately, this only worsened the situation. Palacio was inspired to write the book after listening to Natalie Merchant’s song Wonder, in hopes that her book would teach others a lesson in kindness.
Wonder the Movie
Wonder is based on the book by the same name, and tells the story of August Pullman who was born with facial differences. In and out of hospitals, “Auggie” was relinquished to homeschooling. Before his fifth grade year, his parents decide that this is the year for him to begin mainstream school, much to his chagrin. With the help of his parents and his sister, he struggles to fit in at his new school, Beecher Prep.
You can’t be ordinary, when you were born to stand out – Wonder
When we first meet Auggie, he is desperate to be an ordinary kid. And yet, his fear of standing out causes him to seek solace in a space helmet, where he does not have to face a world of gawking kids who do not know how to engage with him. Before his first day of school, principal Tushman enlists the help of 3 students to befriend Auggie, unbeknownst to him. Jack, in particular, begins to take a liking to Auggie, seeing past his exterior to the humorous, creative, inquisitive boy that he is.
Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness – Wonder
As the story unfolds, Auggie emerges as an unlikely hero, inspiring the school and surrounding community to be compassionate, kind, and accepting. The film is poignant and deeply affective. I absolutely loved how the story is told from several of the characters’ perspectives. The audience gets a peek into the mind and emotions of his sister “Via” (Izabela Vidovic), her best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell), and Auggie’s best friend Jack (Noah Jupe). We begin to understand and empathize with each character as they struggle with their own dreams (realized and shattered), insecurities, and triumphs. The common tie is Auggie, who’s ability to bring them together is compelling. Wonder’s message is simple yet profound…choose kind.
Wonder the Movie Printables
I recently took my kids to see Wonder and found myself with so many emotions and thoughts about the film. There is so much I want to talk to them about…so much I want to share with them about kindness, courage, and standing up for what is right. After you have seen the film with your family, download our free Wonder Printables.