I’ve been working on a memoir of my sister and me covering the first five years of her life. Struggling with author voice and the art of stringing events together in a cohesive fashion, fellow Scriblerian TJ Akers suggested I read Wonder.
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, is a novel, but it reads like a memoir. In both my story and Palacio’s, the subject matter focuses on growing up in a family where one of the siblings has special needs. My sister overcame several physical handicaps. In Wonder, Auggie must tolerate people’s reactions to his facial disfigurements, and he must have the fortitude to become vulnerable to others if they are to ever know the soul behind the face.
Published in 2012, Wonder has already been noted as a modern classic, and I can see why. Classic literature takes readers beyond a good story, rich in emotion. It takes us deeper into the meaning of life. Secular or Christian, it doesn’t matter. Humans are made in God’s image, and all of us have been created with kindling in our hearts that bursts into flame at a touch from the spark of truth.
Palacio’s writing style in displaying Auggie’s courage and honesty is such a spark. She has accomplished what I’m aiming for. I want my sister’s perseverance and spritely spirit to set hearts on fire.
Many of the books I review here at The Scriblerians fall into the “classics” category. Which children’s books have you read that sparked fire in your heart?
What Katie Did by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey.
It’s been so long since I read it that I don’t remember why, but Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.
These are all books I read as a child I would carry for days after I read it. Not literally carrying but just be thinking about and processing.
One of my first posts was on The Bronze Bow. Loved that story, and I cry buckets at the end every time I read it! Yes, that one sparks fire in the heart.
I’ll have to read Johnny Tremain again. It’s been too long. And I’ll add the other two to my “To Read” list.
Counting by 7’s is like that. So is Out of My Mind (has a goldfish on the cover).
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