If you have been hiding under a rock or busy reading through only classic books, do yourself a favor or take a break to read Wonder by R. J. Palacio. The movie has been filmed and is set to release soon, but you really need to read the book first. My prediction is that the movie will be very good, touching and affective, but likely in an entirely different way than the book. Here is my review, originally written in November of 2013.
Well written, but sometimes hard to read. Insightful, but not overt. This is the first book of the Golden Sower 2014 nominees my 9 year old daughter and I reading together, and it was moving. We read back and forth to each other, but it took much longer to get through this book. It is a lot to digest. There were a few times when I had to stop and say, "I don't really want to read this next part, I don't want to say these words out loud because they are so awful and distasteful." But of course I did. Every sentence, every word is truly crucial to the story.
As a person who has been in the 5th grade (okay, a long time ago, but still), and now a mother, I probably got something a little bit different than my daughter did, as a going-into-5th-grader. Most likely, not every reader will get all the feel-good-y lessons about friendship and bullying and acceptance -- and that's okay, I guess. As long as all of the readers get some of the lessons, that's better than some of the readers getting all of the lessons, anyway. It was a great book to read together, to have a few really important mini-conversations about what we value and how to be kinder than you need to be in life.