Our Read Across Lawrence 2018 pick is... R.J. Palacio's Wonder!
Lawrence Public Library, in partnership with KU Libraries, the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library, and the Lawrence Public Library Foundation, today announced their selection for the 2018 Read Across Lawrence program.
This annual community-wide reading event encourages everyone in Lawrence to read and discuss the same book. Scheduled for February 14–March 17, Read Across Lawrence has chosen to feature one book for all ages this year.
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, is about August Pullman, a boy with a facial difference who wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face.
“We picked Wonder because we feel it speaks to all ages. It sends an important message of kindness, hope, and the power of friendship at a time when bullying has reached epidemic proportions,” said Brad Allen, executive director of Lawrence Public Library. “It’s also important to us to show that good literature is being produced for children. Once we grow up, we typically don’t read it anymore and this is a chance for the ‘big kids’ to get back to their roots.”
Lawrence Public Library will hand out free copies of Wonder on Monday, January 15 at 1 PM in their auditorium in conjunction with the library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service celebration. In addition to a diversity-focused storytime and a screening of The 13th, a free lunch will be provided by Hy-Vee from 12-1 PM with a book giveaway to follow.
Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence Schools Foundation, and Lawrence Public Library teamed up and received a grant from the Douglas County Community Foundation to supply 1,000 copies of the book to students, teachers, and classrooms all over Lawrence.
Wonder is author R.J. Palacio’s debut novel. It has been on the New York Times bestseller list since March 2012 and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The book’s message of kindness has inspired the Choose Kind movement, and has been embraced by readers young and old around the world. Palacio lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two sons, and two dogs (Bear and Beau).
“This book is destined to be a classic. We’ve got a month of phenomenal library programs planned, including book discussions and activities for all ages to explore Wonder’s themes of kindness and acceptance. We’re so grateful to KU Libraries, the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library, the Lawrence Public Library Foundation, and our many other partners for their generous support in making this all possible,” Allen added.