White Bird by R.J. Palacio: Book Review

January 13th, 2020 by

white-birdIf you’ve read Wonder by R.J. Palacio, then you know the saying, “If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” In this new graphic novel by the same author, we see many characters who make the choice to be kind — and at the same time, there’s no question it is also the right choice, the moral choice, the just choice. And a dangerous choice.

White Bird is the story of Julian’s grandmother’s experience during the Holocaust, when she was a young girl in France. Julian plays a big role in Wonder and gets his own story in the follow-up, “The Julian Chapter,” but you don’t need to be familiar with those stories to read White Bird. The book opens and closes with a conversation between Julian and his grandma, but the majority of the action is a flashback to the grandmother’s youth.

Young Sara’s early life is good, growing up with her loving parents and enjoying time with her friends. But her carefree days start to change as the Nazis take control of France. At first, the changes aren’t too bad — Sara can’t go into certain stores or other businesses because she’s Jewish, but she gets used to just waiting outside for her friends.

Then her world turns upside down when the Nazis come to round up all the Jewish people in town and take them to concentration camps. Fortunately, Sara escapes — but then begins a lonely and scary period of hiding and waiting. Thanks to the kindness of a classmate’s family, Sara has shelter, food, and a little bit of company each day. But she lives with the fear of being caught.

Because she’s telling the story, we know that Sara survives the Holocaust, but we also know from history that millions of other people were not so lucky. So it’s appropriate that Sara’s story includes a lot of harrowing moments and sadly, also includes multiple deaths at the hands of the Nazis and their supporters. But the violence is not gory — and obviously, it’s an important and necessary part of the book. But so is the bravery and kindness of some of Sara’s neighbors.

So overall, this is clearly a sad story — but it’s not an unbearably depressing book. And the graphic novel format makes it easier to take everything in and helps keep the pace moving (the story takes place over years, but it doesn’t ever feel overwhelming). Check out a few pages from the book, shared on the publisher’s website:




Regardless of whether or not you’ve studied the Holocaust at school, this book will be a good addition to your knowledge and understanding of that period in history. But it doesn’t feel like a textbook; it’s a gripping story with characters you will come to care deeply about. Perhaps most importantly, the book reminds us that it’s our job to be an upstander (rather than a bystander) and to speak out against hateful attacks, actions, and laws and make sure that something like the Holocaust never happens again.

— Karen

Right after finishing this book, Karen turned to her friend and started talking about it. You may also want to discuss the book with other people, so Karen would suggest reading it alongside friends, parents, or other family members so you can experience it together and then talk about it after. Also, keep some tissues handy.

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

June 8th, 2018 by

wonder-rj-palacio-book-reviewSubmitted by Laci

I read this book in 4th grade as an assignment and I loved it. This was about a 5th grade boy named August Pullman who had facial disorders he has 26 surgeries but he still dosent look like the others. how to measure ivermectin in a dosing tube Will he make it through 5th grade? Read to find out what happens to August Pullman.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

April 15th, 2018 by

Submitted by Taylor, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

I really recommend this book to everyone. It is a really good book and it is very sad at some parts so have your tissues ready. It is a really funny book and it will make you laugh!!!

Wonder Movie: Yup, It’s Wonderful

November 19th, 2017 by

wonder-movie-posterOkay, I’m going to keep this short because lately Kidsmomo has been all Wonder, all of the time. First, I posted the movie trailer. Then, I posted some clips. Now, it’s time for the verdict:

This movie is great — dare I say, even wonderful! Although Auggie’s physical appearance in the movie is not nearly as pronounced as described in the book, that really doesn’t matter. That was a big concern of mine beforehand, but as you watch the movie you still see the reactions of everyone around him and you still experience his pain at feeling like an outsider.

But even more than that, the movie does a really good job at showing how the people in Auggie’s world are affected, especially his parents and his older sister (Via). Even though she has chapters dedicated to her in the book, via-photoI didn’t expect Via’s storyline to be so prominent in the film, and I’m really glad that we get so much time to see things from her perspective.

Usually, Kidsmomo gives out smiley faces to the movies that we like. In this case, I think Wonder deserves both a smiley face and a sobbing face — because boy did I cry a bunch during this movie. Thank goodness I planned ahead and brought tissues!

So I give Wonder a 🙂 and a 😭 — but what about you? If you’ve seen the movie, leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Now that she’s seen Wonder, Karen is looking ahead to the movie adaptations of Wonderstruck and A Wrinkle in Time. They look sooooooo good! 😍

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Wonder Movie: In Theaters This Friday!

November 16th, 2017 by

OMG OMG OMG, it’s almost time! The Wonder movie comes out this Friday! And I’m going to see it on opening night! Yes yes yes yes! YES!

Anyone else planning to see the film? I assume the answer is, well, YES — assuming you’re a fan of the original book by R.J Palacio.

As I said when the trailer was released, I’m a little skeptical about the way Auggie is portrayed in the movie — and that in turn makes me wonder if they’re going to make a lot of changes from the book. But despite my concerns, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. And let’s face it, I loved the book so much that as long as the film gets the main parts right, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I’m already pretty psyched, based on these clips:

Are you as excited about the new Wonder movie as I am? Leave a comment about what you expect it to be like!

— Karen

To be honest, Karen cried at that first clip. So please wish the best of luck to the people who are planning to watch this movie with Karen. They’ll need it. Plus, lots of tissues. And maybe hearing aids so they can make out the movie audio over Karen’s loud weeping.

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Books to Big Screen: Wonder Movie Trailer

May 30th, 2017 by

wonder-posterHere are my two favorite things in life: children’s books and food. So you probably won’t be surprised that when I attended a friend’s party recently, I spent a good amount of time stuffing my face and talking about the book I had just finished.

That book was Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio, the companion to the critically acclaimed and totally beloved book Wonder.

Based on Wonder‘s popularity, you’ve probably heard of it. In fact, you’ve probably read it yourself! If not, I highly recommend it — and I’m not the only one: Check out these reviews from other young readers.

So, if you’re a fan of Wonder, then you probably already knew that a movie adaptation is in the works. And that’s what we were taking about at the party — which actors are in it, when it’s coming out, and how Auggie might be portrayed.

Well, now the first trailer is finally out! Watch it below:


So, what do you think?

Some people at the party guessed that the movie will start with Auggie wearing his space helmet, so that there is a more dramatic reveal later. If the trailer is any indication, the full movie may indeed take that approach.

Other people guessed that a good portion of the movie might be shot from Auggie’s point of view. The trailer does not support that theory, but who knows what isn’t shown here?

My personal opinion is that Auggie doesn’t look exactly as described in the book. But I tend to be a big stickler for faithfulness to the source material, and I always get annoyed when movie adaptations stray too far. So maybe it doesn’t matter that Auggie is not depicted in the movie precisely as he is described in the book — as long as the film gets the heart of the characters and the story right. And for that, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the final movie is like!

Are you planning to watch the movie? What do you think of the trailer? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Once a friend remarked to Karen, “I can’t believe how you always find people to talk with you about children’s books at parties.” Guess that’s what happens when you have narrow interests and a persistent demeanor!

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

January 2nd, 2016 by

Submitted by Mishal, Age 11 from OTHER

Rating: ★★★★★

Wonder is a book about a 10-year old boy name August (Auggie) Pullman. He has a deformity and a cleft palate. He was previously homeschooled by his mother but he started grade 5 at Beecher Prep School with normal children. He meets a girl named Summer and a boy named Jack and he befriends them. He is bullied a lot because of his face and the only people who see him normally is his dog Daisy, his sister Olivia, and his parents. Whenever people see Auggie’s face they scream and run away or leave him mean notes. Then one day everything changes. People treat him differently and he becomes a popular kid of his school. There are different stories about Via, Justin, Jack, and Summer and then it goes back to August’s story. His life changes, when he goes to school. I recommend this book for all ages. It is a great book that will keep you entairtained. I rate it 5 stars.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

March 9th, 2015 by

wonder-rj-palacio-book-reviewSubmitted by Jasmine, Age 10 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

OMG,this book is totally a book I would recommend for everybody.There is absoulutely nothing wrong with this book. I am going to read it again and again until, well forever. All ages can read this book, and really get a feel of it. You will learn lots of valuable lessons about how it is the inside that counts. Not how you look on the outside. If you feel bad about yourself, this book shows you that you should not think that.It is a laugh out loud entertaining book, which everybody in the family will love 😉

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

December 15th, 2014 by

wonder-rj-palacio-book-reviewSubmitted by Joel, Age 11 from Rhode Island

Rating: ★★★★★

Review 1

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move from being home-schooled to going to school and not looking like a normal child. August has gone through many surgeries and he survived all of them. This book is filled with suspension and cliffhangers between chapters. In conclusion, this book is so good that you won’t be able to put the book down.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

April 3rd, 2014 by

wonder-rj-palacio-book-reviewSubmitted by Elaina, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★½

The main character is August, he was born with a face deformity. His eyes are where his cheeks are supposed to be, and his cheeks are imprinted into his face. August is given a big decision when his mom asks if he wants to go to school. Could you imagine if you went to the store and poeple stare at you and make a face like their discussed? I feel Really bad for August because people call him nasty names ALL the time. On halloween, August is wearing a mask and the boys dont know its him, August hears somethings he does not want to hear.

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