"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ALA Roundup: The book Wonder and a funny thing happened...

On the flight to Anaheim for the ALA Conference, I was finally able to finish Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  
Those of you who have read the book will wonder how I was ever able to put it down. I am wondering this myself. I had started this book in early spring, but graduate classes, other commitments, and books to be read for lessons took precedence. 

I decided to start the book back at the beginning.  I'm not sure I looked up for the next few hours. Without reservation, I let the story wash over me, allowing both laughter and tears to flow.  I am not sure the last time I read a book cover to cover in one sitting.

This book is the real thing, a full seven course meal of story, from soup to nuts -- well, in this case character, setting and plot, etc.  There are so many wonderful, moving, thought-provoking aspects to this book.  I love Auggie.  I love his family.  I love his friends.  I love their relationships.  Courageous, brave, true and fallible -- these words define the characters in this book and make it the power house that it is. 

A funny thing happened...

Here’s the short and skinny: I spent some minutes talking with a lovely woman (a friend of a friend)  while visiting an author in one of the publishing house exhibit booth.  Our conversation was ranging, but did rest, for a time, on the book Wonder.  

Fast forward to the afternoon, where I head to a different publishing house booth for the Wonder signing.  (You know where this is going.)   

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the very nice and lovely woman I had spent some time speaking with that morning was no less than R.J. Palacio.  Needless to say, this produced a good laugh for us both.  

What does this say about me?   

(Don't answer that!  Probably quite a lot.) 

But here's what I was thinking: I had had this book in my possession for almost 4 months and had never looked at the back jacket to see what the author looked like. 

I don’t actually have an answer to this question.  

I think I so love being at this wonderful intersection of stories and readers that I do not always focus on the actual who of the story.  I know the author's or illustrator's name and works and I traditionally know a good deal of biographical history and creative back story or inspiration, but not always.   

My interest is in the magical moment when young reader and story meet.  It is a beautiful place.

I am eager to experience that moment with my students and this book. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. "My interest is in the magical moment when young reader and story meet. It is a beautiful place." Love that.