Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reading Challenge comes to an end...or does it??

With the start of a new school year, my summer reading challenge draws to an end. Before I bid farewell to my summer reading, I want to share the final selection of my challenge.

WONDER by R.J. Palacio (Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN# 978-0-375-86902)
I learned about this book after participating in an online chat with 4th grade teachers from around the country. We were sharing our favorite books, and this title appeared repeatedly among the recommendations. I resisted reading it for much of the summer, in part because it is only available in hardback and I was too cheap to purchase it. However, by the end of the summer, I could resist the temptation no longer and I bought it during an after dinner trip to the book store-- a favorite outing for our family. By 11:00 a.m. the next morning, I had finished the book. I devoured every page and loved every moment. In fact, after reading "Wonder", I was not able to pick up another book for the remainder of the summer. Even now, weeks after completing the story, my heart smiles to think about this lovely story. It is the fictitious tale of a young boy, August, who is born with a severe facial abnormality. Much of his life has been spent in the loving protection of his family, but that changes when his parents decide it is time for him to attend a private school in his neighborhood. Now August must navigate the unforgiving world of middle school, and learn to make friends along the way. The author tells this incredible story from various perspectives, but August is the true touchstone of this story. It is a lesson in tolerance, acceptance, and discovering wonder in the most unlikely places. I certainly saved the best for last this summer. If you and your family only chose one book to read from my summer suggestions, I hope this will be your choice.

I am excited to share my new treasures with my 4th grade class this year. I hope my challenge will motivate my students to embrace literature and find joy in reading.
I have enjoyed this personal challenge more than I ever imagined possible. This challenge has renewed my passion for reading, and made me realize that it is just as important for teachers to make time read for pleasure as it is for my students to make time to read for pleasure. After all, I am their role model.

Until next time...


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