Be a Star, Wonder Woman!

Be a Star, Wonder Woman!, written by Michael Dahl and vibrantly illustrated by Omar Lozano, shows readers that there’s quite a bit in common between a young girl starting school and everyone’s favorite Amazonian princess.

While this little girl is encouraging two new friends to share, Wonder Woman is restoring peace in the city. Just as the girl must be brave as she attempts to conquer a rope ladder, Wonder Woman must do the same when battling one of her worst enemies. And both the little girl and Wonder Woman need to know that it’s okay to admit when they need help. After all, even the most courageous hero needs a friend now and then.

This little girl is learning that she has everything she needs to be a hero, just like Wonder Woman!


This awesome book is great for Wonder Woman fans (like myself) and those looking for an inspirational book for children–girls or boys–starting school. I not only plan to add this book to my school library, but I also have every intention of purchasing a copy for my niece who starts kindergarten in the fall.

Be a Star, Wonder Woman! emphasizes some of the most important things that a child (or adult) should strive to be: prepared, kind, brave, honest, strong, and heroic. It doesn’t really take much to exhibit these traits. Not all of us can be Wonder Woman, but everyone can be a hero in her/his own way.

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Each Kindness

Each Kindness, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Each Kindness is a book that should be read by everyone, everywhere. Like the amazing Wonder by R.J. Palacio, this book addresses the importance of kindness, and that’s definitely something that all of us could use more of.

In this amazing book, readers are introduced to Maya, a new girl in class who doesn’t have the finest clothes or toys, but she tries her hardest to fit in and be liked. The other students, however, ignore Maya or make fun of her, and the girl learns to keep to herself.

One day, though, Maya is not at school, and the teacher talks to the class about how important it is to be kind to one another. This lesson resonates with young Chloe, who never said a kind word to Maya. She looks for Maya the next day and the next, but Maya doesn’t return to school. When Chloe learns that Maya had to move away, she realizes that she’ll never have a chance to be kind to Maya, a girl who tried her hardest to be friendly.

Each Kindness shows all readers how powerful just one kind word or action could be. We never know what those around us are going through. One small kindness could truly make a difference to someone who is having a hard time. We should take every opportunity to be kind to others. After all, we never know when those opportunities will come to an end.

I highly recommend this book to all readers. I think this would be an especially good pick for classroom libraries, particularly those classrooms where bullying, teasing, or meanness have been ongoing problems. Each Kindness could just open some eyes about the importance of kindness and empathy.

Wonder

Wonder tells the story of August Pullman, a boy who’s about to enter fifth grade. This will mark the first time Auggie has ever been at school with other kids. He’s been homeschooled up until now, and he’s not entirely certain he wants that to change. Auggie’s nervous about how the kids at school will react to his face. See, Auggie was born with a facial deformity–for lack of a better word–and he doesn’t exactly look like most kids. But everything else about him is perfectly normal. He’s a good student, he’s funny, he loves Star Wars (a kid after my own heart), and, most of all, he just wants to belong somewhere. But will anyone be able to look past his appearance and really be Auggie’s friend?

As it turns out, there are a couple of kids who befriend Auggie, but Auggie worries that he’s some kind of charity case to them.  Nothing about middle school is easy–especially when your face might as well be a target for bullies–but it’s a lot easier when you’ve got a couple of friends who have your back.  Even though Auggie has doubts (sometimes justified) about his friends on occasion, he’s forming lasting relationships with people who see him for the wonderful person he is.

Read Wonder to discover how one very special kid can change the minds, hearts, and attitudes of those around him and turn an entire school–even a community–into a model of kindness.  This book gives me hope that the world we live in can change for the better.

I haven’t touched on a lot of what happens in Wonder–Auggie’s relationships with his parents and sister, how he deals with all of the changes in his life, etc.–but these are things you need to experience for yourself.  This book isn’t just Auggie’s story.  Yes, it’s told primarily from his point of view, but we also get glimpses into the minds of his family and friends.  It’s eye-opening and humbling, and I challenge readers to examine their own thoughts and prejudices against people who may look different from them.  We’ll all relate to the characters in this book in different ways, and reflecting upon how we relate to these characters could have the power to change our attitudes about ourselves and others.