Friday, May 18, 2012

An Unexpected Kindness

Today we had extra read aloud time. My class was excited – that meant we’d get even further into Wonder and maybe they’d finally find out what Jack was thinking back at Halloween. (If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about.) Some of our classes had been cancelled so the 26 fifth graders grabbed their copies (thanks to my student Sophie’s aunt) and I read from 10-11:30. As I stopped for lunch they all groaned. We’d just reached a new point of view – Justin’s – and they wanted to continue. We lined up anyway and one student turned to me and said, “Mrs. S, I understand why you think everyone in the country should read this book.” Yep, I’m on a mission.

I rushed home for lunch to get a few things done at our house. When I grabbed the mail off my front porch I found a package I hadn’t been expecting. Flipping it over I gasped. The return address had the name Raquel Palacio, the author of Wonder. I tore the package open and found a kind note, some bookmarks, and a t-shirt. Holy smokes. Honestly, I teared up at this kind gesture. I immediately pulled the t-shirt on for my return to school.

I really wish I had had the foresight to turn on my phone’s video camera when I picked up my class. The fifth grade goes to recess first, then the cafeteria for lunch. There are around 130 fifth graders. 78 are in my reading classes. Many of the other 52 have been to my room to borrow books. Most have heard me speak of Wonder. So, as I walked into the cafeteria kids started shouting out –
“Mrs. S! Where’d you get that shirt?”
“Mrs. S – Wonder rocks!”
“Woo Hoo! GO Auggie!”

It was awesome. So thank you, R.J. Palacio, for making my day. Thank you to Sophie’s amazing aunt for giving my class the chance for this shared reading experience. We’re racing to the end with only four days left of school. I can’t wait to read the final pages together.