5.14 {Whatever Wednesday} The new WONDER companion: The Julian Chapter + CCA Kids

Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’: a cool quote or poster, a video, or simply a picture.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.

Yesterday, that long-awaited companion to Wonder came out.

That’s right. We finally get to hear from the silent Julian. I snatched it up in the morning on Kindle and started reading it aloud to my students. Of course, I had to show the trailer for Wonder first…

Why did author R.J. Palacio write this?

Check out this interview with Ms. Palacio on Slate.com. (Beware… there are spoilers…)

After reading the first handful of pages of this new book—and seeing how Julian reacts to seeing Auggie for the first time (“Dude! Dude! Dude! Dude!”),  I wanted to share with my students a little of what I know about Auggie’s craniofacial differences. Most of what I know I learned from Dede Dankelson (@ddankelson) and CCA. CCA is the Children’s Craniofacial Association. It has been in existence for 25 years to assist and support children and the families of children dealing with syndromes like Auggie. It is no surprise that Wonder has been embraced and supported by the CCA community.

How busy is CCA? Check out their newsletters which can be viewed as PDFs.

It is pretty clear from their site how important Wonder is to them (http://www.ccakids.com/wonder-4-schools.html) and there are some cool resources here, too. (Whoa—I just realized my name is on this page!) Please have a look. Buy books and bracelets. Support Wonder and “Real Life Auggies” at CCA. If you search around, you can even meet Dede’s son, Peter.

After doing some research, It seems like Auggie has something closely resembling Treacher Collins syndrome. Palacio intentionally made her description and the naming of the syndrome unclear, but this gives us a peek at what Auggie has to deal with—and what others see when they look at him. These can be shocking images. ChooseKIND.

Mr. Tushman had it right when he was talking to Julian, Jack, and Charlotte in this book. He said, “There’s no rule book that tells you how to act in every given situation in life, you know? So what I always say is that it’s always better to err on the side of kindness. That’s the secret. If you don’t know what to do, just be kind. You can’t go wrong.”

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